What are the differences between USB PD3.1 and USB PD2.0 PD3.0?

Aug 05, 2022

What are the differences between USB PD3.1 and USB PD2.0 PD3.0?

Recently, the USB-IF Association released the latest USB PD3.1 fast charging standard, which increases the charging power from the 100W to 240W and supports a maximum voltage output of 48V, which immediately attracted the attention of cable and charger industry personnel.

Literally, USB PD3.1 can only be regarded as an update of USB PD3.0, but in terms of power, it is a qualitative leap. So, what are the differences between USB PD3.1 and USB PD2.0 PD3.0?

Development history of charging protocol standards
Time Protocol Standards Interface Charging Specifications
2010 USB BC1.2 USB Type-A 5V 1.5A
    2012.07    USB PD1.0 USB Type-A,
USB Type-B
2014.08 USB PD2.0 USB Type-C 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 15V 3A, 20V 2.25A, 20V 3A, 20V 5A,
2015.11 USB PD3.0 USB Type-C 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 15V 3A, 20V 2.25A, 20V 3A, 20V 5A,
2017.02 USB PD3.0 PPS USB Type-C 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 15V 3A, 20V 2.25A, 20V 3A, 20V 5A,
PPS: 3.3-5.9V 3A, 3.3-11V 3A, 3.3-16V 3A, 3.3-21V 3A, 3.3-21V 5A
2021.05 USB PD3.1 USB Type-C 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 15V 3A, 20V 2.25A, 20V 3A, 20V 5A,
PPS: 3.3-5.9V 3A, 3.3-11V 3A, 3.3-16V 3A, 3.3-21V 3A, 3.3-21V 5A
EPR: 28V 5A, 36V 5A, 48V 5A
AVS: 15-28V 5A, 15-36V 5A, 15-48V 5A
 ● The above information is for reference only, the form maker: P-Shine Electronic Tech Ltd


The USB PD2.0 fast charging standard was released in August 2014, which not only stipulates that the USB Type-C interface is the only standard interface, but also gives this interface more functions, such as charging, data transmission, audio transmission, etc. In terms of charging, USB PD2.0 defines outputs that support 5V3A, 9V3A, 12V3A, 15V3A, and 20V5A, and the maximum charging power reaches 100W.

However, it was still the era when the Micro USB interface was popular. The mobile phone market was basically dominated by private fast charging protocols such as QC, AFC, FCP, and PE. It was difficult to popularize USB PD fast charging. This situation continued until 2015, when Apple released the industry's first New MacBook equipped with the USB PD2.0 fast charging standard, and USB PD fast charging officially began to be popularized in consumer electronic products.


In November 2015, USB PD fast charging ushered in a substantial update, entering the era of USB PD3.0 fast charging. Compared with USB PD2.0, USB PD3.0 has three main changes: 1. Added a more detailed description of the characteristics of the built-in battery of the device; 2. Added the function of device software and hardware version identification and software update through PD communication; 3. And added digital certificate and digital signature function

To put it simply, in terms of charging parameters, USB PD3.0 and USB PD2.0 have not changed, they still support 5V3A, 9V3A, 12V3A, 15V3A, 20V5A output, and the maximum power is 100W. However, this update has not improved the chaotic situation of fast charging standards in the mobile phone market. Fast charging standards are still independent and incompatible with each other.

The common fast charging solutions at that time included Qualcomm QC 4.0/3.0, MediaTek PE 3.0/2.0, OPPO VOOC, Huawei FCP/Supercharge, USB PD, etc. Although the same is used for fast charging of mobile phone batteries, the principles are different. When charging mobile phones with different brands of chargers, fast charging is often not achieved.

USB PD3.0 absorbed the essence of fast charging at that time and reintegrated it into a "big and comprehensive" fast charging solution to achieve the unification of mobile phone fast charging standards. The charger that supports PPS technology realizes fast charging. Throwback to the days when one charger was for all phones. In the latest Android 7.0 OEM specification, Google emphasized that for mobile phones using the USB interface, the fast charging technology must support USB PD.


In order to change the split situation of fast charging protocols in the mobile phone market,, the USB-IF Association released an important update of the USB PD3.0 standard in February 2017, adding programmable power PPS on the basis of the USB PD3.0 standard.

PPS is a type of Power Supply supported by USB PD3.0. It is a power supply output using the USB PD protocol, which can realize voltage and current adjustment. The PPS specification integrates two charging modes: high voltage and low current, and low voltage and high current. The voltage amplitude modulation is reduced to 20mV, which is only one-tenth of the QC3.0 standard at that time, so the adjustment is more accurate.

And the USB-IF Association has also reached a consensus with Thiel Labs, aiming to unify the fast charging technology for the PPS fast charging standard. At present, PPS fast charging has become a fast charging standard with a very high share of the Android mobile phone camp. With the built-in charge pump of the mobile phone, it can achieve high-efficiency and high-power fast charging. Xiaomi, Samsung, Meizu and other brands of models are used.


USB PD3.1 is also the fast charging standard newly released by the USB-IF Association. The USB PD3.1 fast charging standard is actually an update based on USB PD3.0 PPS fast charging.

The USB PD3.1 fast charging specification divides power into two ranges: standard power (SPR) and extended power (EPR). Among them, the standard power range is the current mainstream USB PD3.0 PPS fast charging standard on the market, the maximum charging power remains unchanged at 100W; while the newly added three voltages of 28V, 36V, and 48V belong to the expanded power range, the maximum output current corresponding to the three voltages is still 5A, but the maximum output power can reach 240W.

In addition to adding three sets of fixed voltages, the USB PD3.1 standard also adds three sets of adjustable voltages (AVS) in the expanded power range, which are 15V-28V 5A, 15V-36V 5A and 15V-48V 5A. The minimum voltage regulation amplitude of AVS is 0.1V, and the constant power limiting mode based on PDP continues to be used.


It has been nearly ten years since the development of the USB PD fast charging standard. Among them, USB PD2.0 is the fast charging standard for real mass production and commercial use, and it also lays the foundation for the realization of USB PD fast charging. USB PD3.0 is more updated in terms of protocol identification functions, and the charging specifications have not changed.

The USB PD3.0 PPS fast charging standard adds a programmable voltage level, which is compatible with most private fast charging protocols. It has become the most widely used fast charging standard in the Android mobile phone market.

USB PD3.1 is mainly to expand the application scope of the USB PD fast charging standard. In addition to consumer products such as mobile phones and laptops, it can also be used in the fields of displays, servers, power tools and security Poe power supply, realizing the vision of "everything can be charged".