Google pushes USB-PD Protocol by recommending it to OEMs instead of proprietary solutions

by Karthik Iyer 2

Google adopted USB Power Delivery protocol last year to provide a fast charging solution for its devices. It is being used by many manufacturers in their smartphones. However, most of the manufacturers are using a third party solution like the Qualcomm’s Quick Charge. And needless to say that few have come up with their own solution like Dash Charge by OnePus for the OnePlus 3. Do make a note here that the proprietary solutions require their own separate piece of hardware to go with it.

This also requires a specific piece of hardware to go into the cable, device, etc. and also licensing, etc. And not just that, it might be an issue while you try to use different devices to charge. Let’s say you have a laptop which charges using a USB Type-C port and also a smartphone which charges using a USB Type-C port and both of them follow the USB-PD protocol. You can simply use the same charger to charge and get the best possible charging speeds without having to swap chargers here. Whereas if your smartphone supports some proprietary method, then you are forced to use that piece of hardware component which is supplied by the manufacturer.

Also, if your device supports Quick Charge method or maybe dash charge, you will definitely see a noticeable difference in the speeds of charging when charging it with a laptop or when you swap different chargers, etc. Well, this is the exact same reason why Google is asking OEM’s to ditch the Quick Charge solution and go for the USB-PD option. In fact, it is also mentioned in the Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) clearly. The new clause in the Android 7.0 CDD reads –

Type-C devices are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to not support proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltage beyond default levels, or alter sink/source roles as such may result in interoperability issues with the chargers or devices that support the standard USB Power Delivery methods. While this is called out as “STRONGLY RECOMMENDED”, in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers.

As of now, Google is simply recommending it and not forcing the OEMs to adopt to it, however, the possibility of making it a compulsory option is also very much possible. Now, in that case, it could be a clash here since the Quick Charge is already being used by most of the OEMs in most of the flagship right now in the market. This is not bad by any means, however, it for the sake of getting a unified experience here, this step is a necessary one to take. Well, as of now we don’t know how this will end and what we will seeing in future, but it is definitely a good move by Google here. Stay tuned for more info on this.

Karthik Iyer

Karthik is a Computer Science Graduate and a Tech Aficionado who has always found himself fascinated or playing around with all the latest and the best from the world of smartphones and beyond. When he is not working on any smartphone or covering the latest scoop, you can often find playing his favorite PS4 titles.

  • Arpit Porwal

    Definitely a very good move by google, they shall force OEM to follow USB-PD protocol, we will atleast get a unified experience and won’t have to worry about carrying chargers supplied by OEM with us.

    • Yes, everyone should support Google! It’d be very helpful 🙂