[FAQ] TPS65987D: New USB Type C PD 3.1 Spec enables Extended Power Range up to 240W (EPR)

Part Number: TPS65987D
  1. What is the new USB PD 3.1 spec enabling up to 240W?
  2. When is the 240W version of the USB PD 3.1 spec available?
  3. What kinds of products are expected to take advantage of higher power levels up to 240W?
  4. I have products in the current USB ecosystem supporting power levels less than 100W. Should I worry about interoperability with products supporting power greater than 100W?
  5. Will the existing ecosystem of products be safe once people implement power levels greater than 100W
  6. Will TI support power levels greater than 100W?
  7. How best can I learn more about TI higher power product plans?
    1. What is the new USB PD 3.1 spec enabling up to 240W?
      1. USB Type C PD is a standard that uses a standard USB Type C port to deliver power and data in both directions. Until now, the standard allowed for up to 100W (20V, 5A) across an approved cable. Recently the USB I/F (which manages the USB specification) approved and released an extension to the power range allowed across the Type C port and cable. Under this version of the specification, a port is allowed to negotiate a Power Deliver Object (PDO) of up to 240W (48V, 5A). This is enabled through the new USB PD 3.1 Extended Power Range (EPR) capability. 
    2. When is the 240W version of the USB PD 3.1 spec available?
      1. The USB I/F has approved and ratified the Extended Power Range (EPR) version of the spec as of May/June 2021. This spec is now available on the USB I/F home page at https://www.usb.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/USB%20PG%20USB%20PD%203.1%20DevUpdate%20Announcement_FINAL.pdf
    3. What kinds of products are expected to take advantage of higher power levels up to 240W?
      1. While traditional early adopters of Type C PD such as notebook PC, Tablets etc. are expected to continue to take advantage of the extension to push to a higher power range, TI also expects newer devices which did not traditionally use a Type C/PD port to adopt the technology. Whether the use case is for higher power charging to fast charge batteries, using the higher voltage to charge multi cell configurations that support motors, lighting etc., we are confident our customers will find novel and innovative ways to take advantage of TI’s upcoming Type C PD devices supporting power levels above 100W to create compelling use cases for their customers.
    4. I have products in the current USB ecosystem supporting power levels less than 100W. Should I worry about interoperability with products supporting power greater than 100W?
      1. TI has worked with the USB-IF to ensure that the process for higher power operation works seamlessly with legacy systems. As always it is recommended to use a USB-IF certified PD controller for all systems, which will ensure complete interoperability with future systems supporting power greater than 100W. To this end, sources that support greater than 100W are required to follow all standard source requirements when connected to an less than 100Wsink. Similarly, sinks that request greater than 100W are required to follow all the previous sink requirements when connected to an source that doesn’t support greater than 100W.
    5. Will the existing ecosystem of products be safe once people implement power levels greater than 100W?
      1. TI has worked with the USB-IF to analyze the new functionality with safety in mind. Functional safety experts have independently audited the upto 240W functionality as part of this process. The higher voltages enabled by the higher power version of the spec cannot be offered by a source until the higher power mode has been entered. This new mode requires using newly defined USB-PD messages in a specific sequence in order to successfully negotiate a USB-PD contract above 20V. The new protocol was designed to ensure that no single messaging error could result in a voltage greater than 20V being negotiated.
    6. Will TI support power levels greater than 100W?
      1. TI has been a founding member of the USB Type C PD forum at USB-IF and has been investing actively in the standard and developing products for the ecosystem partners. We plan to continue to do the same as the standard expands to support the new use cases of power levels up to 240W (up to 48V and 5A).
    7. How best can I learn more about TI higher power product plans?
      1. The best way for you to learn about TI products that are in the development stage is to reach out to your assigned sales or FAE from TI and enquire about products that support the higher power version of the spec.