Qualcomm: No Problems With USB-C and Quick-Charge Tech


Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology and the USB Type-C specification are not compatible, according to one Google engineer, which is unfortunate since two new flagship smartphones, the HTC 10 and LG G5, include both technologies.

Qualcomm, however, pushed back this weekend, issuing a statement that said it has "received no reports of user experience or device malfunction issues with or without USB Type-C connectors."

As Android Authority outlines, the USB Type-C specification requires that a port's Vbus line sits between 4.45 and 5.25 volts. Qualcomm Quick Charge, however pushes that to 9 or 12 volts. The debate prompted Qualcomm to release its statement, in which it said that "When an OEM chooses to implement Quick Charge into their device, they can configure the voltage to fit within the specifications of the USB Type-C standard."

Quick Charge 3.0 promises to juice up a conventional smartphone from zero to 80 percent in about 35 minutes.

But not everyone is a fan: Google engineer Benson Leung, a USB evangelist of sorts, first discussed his concerns in a late November blog post about whether Qualcomm QC and USB Type-C can coexist on the same connector. In a nutshell, he said, "Type-C Spec forbids it."

Qualcomm, however, argues that "Quick Charge is designed to be connector-independent. It can be implemented in a device that supports a variety of connectors, including USB Type-A, USB micro, USB Type-C, and others.

"At Qualcomm Technologies, we are continuously working to provide the best solutions for our customers and consumers," the company continued. "Qualcomm Quick Charge is a leading-edge fast charging solution with more than 70 devices and 200 accessories supporting one of the two most recent versions of Quick Charge, with even more currently in development."

As PCMag sister site ExtremeTech explains, this statement does little to clarify things. "It is not clear what will happen if [the HTC 10 and LG G5] are plugged into other hardware that implements USB Type-C, because it's impossible to prove that non-compliant devices will be compatible with compliant hardware (the entire point of having a specification is to avoid issues like this)."

At this point, your best bet is to "only use chargers and cables that are tested for compatibility with these specific devices," ET advises.

For more, see What Is USB-C? An Explainer.

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