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New USB-C version 2.1 spec will more than double power delivery to 240W, up from 100W

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The I/O array of the Sony a1, which includes a USB-C connection beneath the HDMI port.

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has published a new 415-page document laying out the details of a new USB-C specification that will see the power delivery capabilities more than double from the current specification, from 100W to 240W.

The USB-C version 2.1 specification will use what USB-IF is calling Extended Power Range (EPR) to open up a whole new realm of possibilities for everything from high-resolution monitors to power-hungry laptops designed for creatives and gamers.

An illustration of a USB-C connector as detailed in the USB-IF’s version 2.1 specification document, embedded below.

The specification will require new hardware from both cable and hardware manufacturers to address any technical issues and safety concerns that may arise from the more power-hungry connections. USB-IF notes cables featuring the new higher-capacity EPR delivery will be marked with a specific icon so you can ensure with a quick glance that the cable you’re purchasing supports the new specification.

Below is the document detailing the intricacies of the new USB-C version 2.1 specification:

The USB-IF says it’s worked alongside the likes of Apple, Dell, DJI, Foxconn, Google, Honor, HP, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital, Xiaomi and dozens of other technology companies throughout the development of the new specification, which should ensure this becomes an industry standard.

A cross-section of a USB-C version 2.1 cable, as detailed in the above document.

No timeframe has been given for when we can expect to see the first devices with this new specification hit shelves, but based on the timeframe between past announcements and the first releases, we can expect to see the first USB-C version 2.1 cables with EPR hit shelves either later 2021 or early 2022.


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