Google ‘Strongly Recommends’ OEMs to Not Play Around with USB-C Charging Standard in Latest Android CDD

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 9 Nov 2016


USB Type-C is all set to replace almost every other port being used for connectivity or data transfer in today’s laptops and smartphones. The specification of the port was defined keeping its diversity in mind. This also included support for USB PD, a fast charging technology similar to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge and other similar OEM implementation.

However, things have not gone as planned with almost every major Android OEM implementing their own fast charging implementation over USB Power Delivery despite this move breaking support for the USB C specification as defined by USB-IF. The HTC 10, LG G5, OnePlus 3 are the prime examples of this, with the phones either implementing Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 or Dash Charge. These proprietary fast charging technologies change the Vbus voltages in a way that is not recommended by the USB-IF standard for USB-C.

Using varying fast charging specs means that you cannot use the charger of, for example, the one that comes with the OnePlus 3 to fast charge your HTC 10. The phone will charge at slow 2A speeds. In fact, some devices can actually overheat or malfunction when charged with a non-compatible USB-C charger.

Google is now finally taking things into its own hands by “strongly” recommending Android OEMs to support USB-C chargers with full interoperability. The company has updated its Android Compatibility Definition Document to include a section for USB Type C labelled “strongly recommended”. For now, Google says it is strongly recommended, but it might make it mandatory for all OEM to fully support the USB C standard and not modify the Vbus voltage at all.

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.

Google also makes it mandatory for OEMs that are launching devices with USB Type-C devices that they must detect when it is connected to a 1.5A or a 4A charger.

Considering how every other Android OEM has been violating the USB C standard to promote their own fast charging implementation, this move from Google was a much-needed one.

[Via Android Police]