Google software engineer Benson Leung has become something of a folk hero for his efforts to review USB Type-C cables and let potential customers know whether or not they’re compliant with official specifications. A lot of them aren’t… and some could even damage your phone, laptop, or other device if you try to charge your gadgets using those cables.
Now it looks like the organization responsible for publishing those official specs is going to make things a bit easier for Leung and the rest of us: the USB Implementers Forum has announced a new certification and compliance program for USB chargers.
Basically, companies that make products that comply with the USB-IF standards will be able to slap an official USB Charger logo on their products. Look for the logo and you’ll have a pretty good idea that the charger shouldn’t explode when you plug in a laptop.
The program covers USB Type-C chargers that make use of USB Power Delivery. The USB-IF notes that “non-compliant chargers… pose a risk to the functionality and interoperability of electronics.”
The good news is that chargers which are compliant should be able to work with a number of devices, meaning you’d be able to use the same charger for your phone, tablet, laptop, and other gadgets.
Companies that maker chargers aren’t required to submit them to the USB-IF for testing. But they can’t use the logo unless they do.
Unfortunately it seems like the new certification program only covers chargers, not cables. I guess Benson Leung’s work isn’t done yet.