What is USB Power Delivery?

USB-PD is the first new power supply specification proposed by USB-IF (USB Developer Forum) in 2012. The core idea is to meet the power requirements of various devices through a single USB cable, while increasing the charging speed and achieving two-way charging. To put it in simple words, in the future, consumers will no longer have to buy different charging cables for mobile phones, or for computers, or for TVs, etc., one cable will be enough! How does USB-PD do it? Aside from the additional chip placed on both end of the devices that allows them to communicate with each other and provide additional power. One, it can adapt to different voltage and current from different devices, and secondly, it can decide the direction of the charge! That is to say, if your monitor, laptop, and tablet supports USB-PD, then the device can be charged by other devices or be able to charge other devices. So when your laptop, tablet are low in power or you are unable to charger it, you can use the power of the monitor to provide power; and when the monitor needs power, it can also be powered by the host, laptop or tablet. Isn’t it great! Five Profiles for USB-PD Volt, Ampere Power supply Applicable device Profile 1 5V@2A 10 W   Portable devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras Profile 2 5V@2A、12V@1.5A 10~18 W   Tablet PC, external storage device Profile 3 5V@2A、12V@3A 10~36 W   Ultrabook, detachable tablet, etc. Profile 4 5V@2A、12/20V@3A 10~60 W   High-performance notebook, AIO computers Profile 5 5V@2A、12/20V@5A 10~100 W   Standard A/B and Type-C connectors for LCD monitors, flat screen TVs (If you forgot what is Volts (V), Ampere (A), Watt (W), please read this article) (You can also find more information about PD from our previous articles: article.) USB-PD relationship with cables So far, PD does not have a unique symbol for identification on the cables or connectors. Then, how do you know if this cable really supports PD? After reading the five profiles of USB-PD, you will know that if the cable can support PD, it can load up to 5A. If your phone, computer, or monitor supports PD, but your cable only supports 1A of charge- we regret to tell you but your cable may soon be damaged. (Pengo’s cables supports PD, takes all your worries away. Product link: URL) After this article, we hope you have more understanding of USB-PD. When you want to buy a charging cable, don't forget to be watch out for the specification markings on the packaging! Finally, if you want to know more technical information, like our Facebook Pengo page, we will have occasional activities and promotions for you and your friends! *2018/12/24    


We’ve started the digital world with VGA and moved to DVI sockets, now to the current HDMI world.  Why and how is HDMI winning?  What kind of secrets we don’t know about?  Let us first explain from the beginning.  VGA The VGA connector introduced by IBM in 1987 and everyone should be familiar with it (most schools still use projectors that only support VGA connectors).  You can also see VGA connectors on most of our desktops.  The VGA connector is often referred to as the D-sub connector, in fact the D-Sub refers to all the trapezoidal internal pins with pins, not just a VGA! The biggest difference between VGA and DVI / HDMI is the analog signal transmission.  (If you forgot and you are not sure what analog or digital means, please refer to this article.)   Perhaps many people will think that VGA does not support high resolution but in fact VGA transmission cables can support up to 2560×1600P!  However, VGA easily gets transmission interference by other signals, so in order to avoid video interference, keeping and viewing at 1920×1080P or below resolutions is more stable. Although in 2010 many manufacturers jointly decided to completely eliminate the VGA interface in 2015, thus the VGA connector has been removed as the newer laptops are getting thinner and thinner.   There are still too many existing and professional devices using the VGA interface to output images, therefore the VGA era should not be completely over just yet.   DVI In 1999, after VGA was introduced for 12 years and has been widely used;  Intel, HP and COMPAQ jointly released DVI in order to replace VGA. DVI is most commonly divided into three types: DVI-A (analog), DVI-D (digital), DVI-I (mixed).  DVI-D and DVI-I are divided into single channel and dual channel.  In single channel, DVI can support 1920×1200@60 Hz, which is slightly higher than our usual 1920×1080@60 Hz.  Therefore, the most common DVI screen is the DVI-D Single Link connector.  In dual channel, DVI can support up to 2560×1600@60 Hz resolution, which is slightly higher than 2K (2560×1440 @ 60 Hz). Everything seems great, but why didn’t DVI take over the market?  First, because the size of the DVI connector is too big, it is difficult to accommodate the smaller size notebooks;  second, it was affected by the tariffs of various countries.  From 2004, the European Union began to recognize DVI monitors as TVs, it increased from a 0% import tax on computer monitors to a 14% import tax on TVs;  In 2006, Taiwan decided to have DVI monitor classified for TV tariffs.  A 13% of goods tax plus 10% of the import tax, making a total of 23% tax.  Therefore the manufacturing cost for DVI monitors became more expensive than a VGA monitor.  Many manufactures went back to producing VGA LCD monitors while DVI interface can only be found in middle and high-end products.  The DVI ear is bound to be limited,thus the VGA will not disappear anytime soon. HDMI In 2003, TOSHIBA, SONY, Panasonic and other home appliance manufacturers promoted HDMI, which was originally designed for TV, DVD and Blu-ray players.  It is not only  smaller in size and has the ability to transmit sound and video simultaneously, HDMI is also supported by leading film production companies such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Disney, Samsung Electronics, and other cable TV systems. There are many HDMI versions, and the most common ones are 1.4 and 2.0 and the 2.1 version was introduced back in 2017.  The 1.4 version can support 1080P@120Hz; the 2.0 version can support 4K @50/60Hz and support 21:9 aspect ratio;  2.1 version can support 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz, its transmission bandwidth also increased significantly.  It is worth mentioning that HDMI has added an Ethernet channel after version 1.4, but nowadays the average family will not apply this function and it will also depend on how HDMI is going to develop in the future!   HDMI is better than DVI and HDCP is one of the reasons (Forget what HDCP is? Come see this article: URL) HDMI started supporting HDCP in 2003, but DVI joined later in 2007.  This is why many movie companies support HDMI at an early stage.  We hope you have a basic idea of these three types of connectors.   In short, the advantages of HDMI are: the ability to transmit sound at the same time, small size, high quality, easy to plug, supports HDCP and so on.  HDMI should have a stable and long-lasting position in the market, unless there is a new development of a new connector.  We hope you like our simple version of HDMI introduction.  Finally, if you want to learn more about technology, please join and like our Facebook Pengo page.  We will have occasional activities! *2019/02/13

What is PPS ?

As the performance of mobile phones becomes stronger and the screens become larger and larger, the power consumption of mobile phones has also increased dramatically, and fast charging has become an indispensable part.  However, each brand develops their own fast charging technology and many of them are incompatible with each other which brings the consumer an abundance of inconvenience and it is a waste of resources. In 2017, the USB-IF Association added Programmable Power Supply (PPS) to the USB PD 3.0 standard, expecting a unified specification for today's fast charging solutions.  In that same year, Qualcomm’s QC4.0 complied with PPS standards, reaching a unified charging scheme.  So what is Programmable Power Supply (PPS)? The PPS standard refers to the power supply can exchange data with the power supply every ten seconds, so that the power supply can dynamically adjust the output voltage and current according to the condition of the receiving product specifications.  The voltage range is between 3~ 21V, with increment of 0.02V.  Due to PPS, USB-IF Association has also added "PPS Voltage Step Test" and "PPS Current Limit Test" to ensure that the current and voltage dynamic adjustment of the device during the charging process are in compliance with the Association's specifications. Note:  There are two types of fast charging modes, one is high voltage and low current, and the other is low voltage and high current.  The disadvantage of the first mode is because while the withstand voltage of the mobile phone battery is 4.2V, but the input charging voltage is 9V, it is necessary to reduce voltage to 4.2V in the mobile phone.  The reduction of voltage will increase the current and cause the mobile phone to easily overheat.  This is the reason why you feel the increase in temperature on your mobile phone. *2019/01/18

Change to USB Type-C! It’s Better!

In the spring of 2015, Apple was the only company to release a laptop with one USB Type-C connector.  The USB Type-C gradually became popular leading to extensive discussions among the tech savvy network.  With an increasing demand in the market, USB Type-C can now be found in various kinds of computers and mobile phones.  What are the advantages of USB Type-C? What is the relationship with USB PD? (Forget what USB PD is?  Please read this article) The advantages of USB Type-C are in fact very consistent with today’s technology trend.  The compact design and fast transmission speed are compatible with practically all modern devices; Not only is it light and slim, but it is also able to transfer larger data volume.  Unlike other USBs, the USB Type –C has a reversible design that allows the connector to be plugged in from either side.  The way that this goal is achieved is actually quite simple but smart—that is, all the signals are aligned symmetrically.  This way, the user can easily plug it in once allowing an immediate recognition from the other end.   The USB Type-C USB 3.1 can support three different USB PD specifications 5V/12V/20V to reach a wider charging range, thus devices can charge all at once with one single cable. Unlike the majority of USB types in the market, the USB Type-C can deliver high-definition video and audio.  The original USB-A can also deliver a high-definition video and audio but only with the upgraded USB 3.1 Gen2 version which is very rare to find in the market.  In general, the USB 2.0 does not have the ability to transmit files because it does not have enough bandwidth.  USB Type-C Alternate Mode (or Alt Mode – Full-Function) on the other hand, can deliver movies with more than 4K quality, which is currently the highest resolution in the market.  When connecting a HDMI adapter, DisplayPort adapter, or VGA adapter, verify that your devices supports USB-C Alternate Mode.  Here comes the good news!  The MFI-certified Lightning to USB Type-C cable is expected to be available in early 2019 (To know more about MFI, please read this article).  At the moment, many Lightning to USB Type-C cables on the market are not certified by Apple hence the quality is difficult to be determined.  Nonetheless, Pengo will soon be releasing its very own MFI certified cable soon providing one of the highest quality products in the market.   Hopefully we gave you a little bit more understanding regarding USB Type-C (USB-C).  If you would like to know more about some technical information, please like our Pengo Facebook page and follow us. We will have occasional activities and promotions for you! *2019/02/18 *2020/05/20 revised

Ever wonder why your phone charges slower on your computer?

Isn’t it weird that a simple power-plug adapter can charge your phone faster than your new MacBook, or gaming PC? Why, on even the most expensive laptop or motherboard, is there only one “always on” or “sleep mode” port where you can charge a USB device, even when your computer is sleeping, or off? This is mainly because of computer manufacturers. Lenovo ThinkPad L380 (light grey), and, ThinkPad X380 Yoga (dark grey), how many different icons for power? Source: MobileTechReview In the picture above, we see different icons for various features of these laptops that can be somewhat confusing.  First off, on the light grey L380, we can see a USB Type-C port with a power plug icon and a small LED indicator.  This is obviously the port where you can charge your laptop through the USB Type-C port.  Adjacent to that is a regular Type-C port, and a regular USB Type-A labelled with two icons, one italic SS with USB logo and a battery with a + symbol inside it. Moving on to the dark grey X380, we have an old-fashion charging port, a Type-C with a lightning bolt icon, and a Type-A port with the same SS USB and Battery icon as seen on the L380. If you had to guess which port would charge your smartphone the fastest, and the only information that was given to you were these icons, your safest bet would be choosing the port with the battery+ icon, right?  Well in this case, that port is not exactly doing more than being available even when you shut the system down.  For all intent and purposes it’s just a regular USB 3.0/.1 Gen1 port without any other special charging features. And in a lot of cases, you still need to manually enable this feature. The Type-C ports on both models are capable of USB Power Delivery, but the specs don’t mention what revision it uses, nor does it specify how much power it actually supplies. And this is just the start of the problems for most of us, the charger that comes with the laptop might be 45W or 65W, but it’s hard to know exactly until you have the actual product in-hand. Motherboards and USB power A few years ago, motherboard manufacturers discovered the challenges of the, then new, USB 3.0 (2010-2011) standard and having multiple USB devices connected to your computer. At that time, many motherboard manufacturers began to question the power of their USB implementation. The reason behind this was because once the USB chip guidelines on how to install one USB 3.0 chip on a motherboard with sufficient 5 Volt were implemented, manufacturers started integrating more USB chips on their motherboard, leading people to start connecting more and more devices simultaneously.  The voltage and the amount of Watts that were delivered for USB charging eventually dropped.  The most common scenario was having a USB hard-drive, a phone charging on a motherboard, and then connecting an Audio amplifier which would eventually lead to one of the devices not working because there was not enough power. Around 2013, we saw them change the way they would implement delivering voltage to the USB chips.  By now, the engineers understood that following the specs didn’t work, so the solution was to make sure that all USB ports on a motherboard deliver a stable 5V, no matter how many devices are connected. However, since the introduction of USB Power Delivery, they have not been able to deliver the same USB experience on Motherboards, as there is they have been doing on modern laptops. Even though they are made by the same company, and engineers. After analyzing the current range of the latest and popular Z390 motherboards among different brands, we’ve come to this conclusion: Asus: They don’t make any mention of anything over bare spec USB for charging, we couldn’t even find any port with Power Delivery on their high-end ROG Maximus XI Formula. ASRock:  They also don’t mention any special USB technology for their motherboards. Although, for those that are interested, they do still use USB ReDrivers to boost USB signal integrity over long-ranges, for instance USB ports at the front of your case. MSI: They were once proud to show they had the same USB charging technology on their motherboards and laptops, however they now only mention the bare minimum for USB information. The marketing comments do not mention anything regarding USB power either. That now leaves us with Gigabyte.  While we can’t say everyone should immediately go out and buy their motherboards for their next build, motherboards like the Gigabyte Z390 Extreme feature a USB 3.1 Gen2 port with “USB TurboCharger”  that connects to the front of your PC case.  The port supports both QuickCharge 3.0 and Apple Fast-Charge. So no, you will not be able to charge your MacBook Air, or Lenovo Yoga laptop, but at least you know that you’ll be getting plenty of juice to charge your smartphone straight from your PC’s front panel. That concludes our little investigation into charging USB devices on your Personal Computer.  While it’s okay on the laptop side, with various brands offering PD solutions on their laptops, the options for gamers and desktop users are very limited, with most vendors focusing purely on delivering a LOT of USB ports, without thinking about how we, the customers, actually use them. *2019/02/18

The Hero of Computers – No need to download a driver with UVC

The UVC, short for USB Video Class, is a USB device class that allows a direct video data transfer from a video streaming device (such as camcorders, webcams, analog video converters) to a computer or game console.  It was introduced by the USB implementer’s forum also known as USB –IF.  UVC makes moving audio and video sources from devices (such as Pengo 4k Grabber, Webcams, Digital Cameras etc.) to a computer operating system much easier in the sense that there is no need to install any driver.  Any Video Camera device could use the standard UVC driver (already built in the OS) in those platforms to transfer videos directly.   Having said that, readers may feel that there is nothing remarkable.  But in fact, not needing to install a driver is really a big benefit!  In the past, when the transmission speed was not so fast, the video and audio information had to be compressed before being transmitted, and could only be read after being decompressed by the driver on the computer.  To put it in another way, the driver can be seen as a dictionary, and the various audio and video data can be seen as a variety of languages.  If you want to connect ten different audio and video sources, you have to have ten different kinds of dictionaries and ten different drivers.  In addition to being a troublesome and time-consuming installation, some drivers may be blocked by the computer operating system or firewall, resulting in the inability to transfer a video source from a camera or other equipment.  Not to mention if the compute’s operating system and performance is not enough, the data could be lost during the editing and decompressing process. With the increase of USB transmission speed, the audio and video data can be transmitted directly at no time.  In 2003, UVC 1.0 was introduced by USB-IF; the latest UVC 1.5 was then introduced in 2012.  Through the standardization of UVC, installing redundant drivers are not necessary anymore thus increasing the capacity of hardware.  Additionally, you will not have to worry about editing, decompressing, computer failure and the risk of not saving your data. We hope you have a better understanding of UVC!  If you want to know some additional technical information, you are welcome to visit our Pengo Facebook and like us!  We will have occasional events and promotion so make sure to check us out! Note: UVC is built into operating systems such as Windows, Mac OX, Linux, FreeBSD, and the PS3. *2019/03/18