Author Topic: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices  (Read 21301 times)

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Offline VK3DRB

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The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« on: June 08, 2022, 02:36:37 am »
New devices that don't have USB type C charging ports will be banned from the EU in a couple of years. It looks like USB-C will be the world standard in due course, thanks to the EU.

As a result, those doing design like I do will be more convinced to go USB-C from on on, rather than opting for micro USB. The directive will be under the EU's notorious Radio Emissions Directive (CE RED). Apple is protesting that enforcing USB-C will stifle innovation.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20220603IPR32196/deal-on-common-charger-reducing-hassle-for-consumers-and-curbing-e-waste

Is this a case of too much government control of our technology, or a commonsense approach to fixing a problem?
Good idea or not?
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2022, 02:45:06 am »
Good, more standardisation, better interoperability, less lock-in, less duplication, less e-waste.

I mean you can debate if USB-C is the right connector, but it's the connector we have that can meet the requirements.

Now if they could just mandate batteries that can be replaced with no more tools than a precision screwdriver, that would be great.
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Online ataradov

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2022, 02:49:24 am »
I'm for standardization. We'll have to see how hard coding USB-C specifically plays out in a long term, but it would be a while before it gets obsolete.

They talk about charging and it is not clear how it relates to data transfer. There is much more variability with USB-C in that respect. I switched to USB-C for all my stuff and it works fine for USB 2.0-only stuff, which still covers a lot of use cases. But some applications require high bandwidth transfers, and there may be issues here. But on the other hand, everyone would be forced to figure out how to make USB-C work instead of inventing a new thing that is 90% the same as the old thing.
Alex
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2022, 03:08:34 am »
I'm for standardization too, but not for politics meddling with much anything other than safety, so I have mixed feelings about this.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2022, 03:12:03 am »
I don't like bans, this is definitely one of those cases where I would prefer to let the free market decide. I still have not adopted USB-C and find it annoying when stuff uses that connector as I have SO much older USB 2.0 and 3.0 stuff around. I'm really not a fan, the connector is fragile and gets loose and sloppy after a while and electrically it tries to be too many different things and it is a confusing mess of partial implementations.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2022, 03:24:03 am »
I see the move as overwhelmingly positive. I don't see how this differs too much from standardising AC power connectors and sockets.
 
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Offline Tomorokoshi

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2022, 03:38:21 am »
Ok, fine, so there would be a mandated and endorsed standardized connector and data interlink format. How does that square with:

https://www.usb.org/logo-license

https://www.usb.org/getting-vendor-id

And other such additional costs? And here the EU was all concerned about Explorer and Google "taking over" the market due to no competition and barrier to entry.
 

Offline Tom45

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2022, 04:16:06 am »
Where are we to get a bunch of USB-C ports for these devices?  USB-C hubs with a bunch of USB-C ports still don't exist.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2022, 04:17:24 am »
Ok, fine, so there would be a mandated and endorsed standardized connector and data interlink format. How does that square with:

https://www.usb.org/logo-license

https://www.usb.org/getting-vendor-id

And other such additional costs? And here the EU was all concerned about Explorer and Google "taking over" the market due to no competition and barrier to entry.

You do not have to have a USB logo license nor a vendor ID to place a port in compliance with the IEC specification on a device for charging.

Where are we to get a bunch of USB-C ports for these devices?  USB-C hubs with a bunch of USB-C ports still don't exist.

The other end of the charging solution does not need to be USB-C.
 
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2022, 04:31:13 am »
Where are we to get a bunch of USB-C ports for these devices?  USB-C hubs with a bunch of USB-C ports still don't exist.

USB-C docks and hubs are fairly common. I've use the OWC branded ones. For example: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/owc-thunderbolt-hub
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2022, 04:42:31 am »
I see the move as overwhelmingly positive. I don't see how this differs too much from standardising AC power connectors and sockets.

That isn't mandated by law though. There are numerous AC power connectors and sockets that are available and legal to use/install. It's nice when things are standardized but it shouldn't be required by law.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2022, 05:03:51 am »
I see the move as overwhelmingly positive. I don't see how this differs too much from standardising AC power connectors and sockets.

That isn't mandated by law though. There are numerous AC power connectors and sockets that are available and legal to use/install. It's nice when things are standardized but it shouldn't be required by law.

Someone who knows more about electrical standards might want to chime in here, however as far as I'm aware (in Australia at least), cabling/wiring standards for mains wiring is also backed by legislation and strict rules.
 
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Offline JPortici

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2022, 05:12:10 am »
Ok, fine, so there would be a mandated and endorsed standardized connector and data interlink format. How does that square with:

https://www.usb.org/logo-license

https://www.usb.org/getting-vendor-id

And other such additional costs? And here the EU was all concerned about Explorer and Google "taking over" the market due to no competition and barrier to entry.

You do not need to add the logo or pay the tax just to use the connector. Embrace standardization my american friend, sometimes the government forcing you to do something is good

incidentally, cheap usb c connectors that just expose the USB2 connections (so they're way less a PITA to handle/solder) has just started appearing in western distributors.. and even from big manufacturers. Last i checked, a couple of months ago, i couldn't find any
« Last Edit: June 08, 2022, 05:15:37 am by JPortici »
 
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Offline Berni

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2022, 05:15:10 am »
That is all good and all. What i want to know is if this law includes Apple.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2022, 05:23:10 am »
That is all good and all. What i want to know is if this law includes Apple.

Good question as the news here has been implying that it's mainly Apple that they're after.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2022, 05:26:25 am »
For some of us playing along at home, form factor aside, what can the lightning interface do that the USB-C cannot? Or am I trying to oversimplify it?
 

Online RoGeorge

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2022, 05:48:14 am »
- standards are good
- law enforcing a standard is idiotic

They did something similar before, by enforcing cookies warning while browsing from EU.  Made everybody unhappy and even more traceable, while achieving nothing.

Laws trying to regulate science and technology are a pest, and as damaging as corruption.

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2022, 05:57:40 am »
For some of us playing along at home, form factor aside, what can the lightning interface do that the USB-C cannot? Or am I trying to oversimplify it?

Provide an extra avenue of revenue for Apple. That's the only difference between the Apple Lightning port and USB-C.

Both are reversible, both the plug gets damaged first than the port on the device, both support video and audio.

USB-C is better on power delivery.

Any accessory to be certified (every accessory, not a line of accessories) have to pay a tax to Apple to have the logo of MFi - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22209924

https://appleinsider.com/articles/14/02/07/apple-lowers-mfi-lightening-licensing-fees-paving-way-for-more-affordable-ios-accessories-

So that is the main reason, all the other reasons they say being increase waste, controlling the experience of owning and using their product is just a smoke screen from the real reason.
 
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Offline JohanH

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2022, 06:22:15 am »
I like it. This is one of the things that actually benefits consumers.
 
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Offline JohanH

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2022, 06:29:16 am »
- standards are good
- law enforcing a standard is idiotic

They did something similar before, by enforcing cookies warning while browsing from EU.  Made everybody unhappy and even more traceable, while achieving nothing.

Laws trying to regulate science and technology are a pest, and as damaging as corruption.

The cookie thing was a disaster. The intention was good, but not the outcome. Other than that, I have trust in our government and in extension EU. They are not trying to regulate "science".  We don't have an issue with corruption.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2022, 06:56:14 am »
I think this is likely to have similar unintended consequences, the inevitable result of technologically illiterate bureaucrats trying to legislate technology. Device power requirements vary widely, and USB-C is still a mess of different incomplete implementations. I could plug my work macbook into a USB-C charger for a phone and the plug would fit but it wouldn't work. The law requiring devices to be sold with a choice with or without the power adapter just means that in effect the power adapter will be an extra cost accessory rather than something included. I don't think we'll see devices sans charger suddenly dropping in price to account for that. Instead devices that include the charger will just cost more.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2022, 07:05:28 am »
The cookie thing was a disaster. The intention was good, but not the outcome. Other than that, I have trust in our government and in extension EU. They are not trying to regulate "science".  We don't have an issue with corruption.

Indeed the cookies law was horrible.

All it did was make websites constantly pop a message over the content i actually want to see. Making it worse that closing that message is different on every website... WHY?! Web browsers had a checkbox for turning off cookies for decades before the law even came around. If you don't want cookies then turn them off in there!

But this USB-C thing i do support. Pretty much all phone manufacturers are already using USB-C (Except the fruit flavored special snowflake), so we are going to have USB-C cables laying around everywhere. Might as well make those cables and chargers more useful.

The law is specific on portable devices, not everything USB. So this does not mean that USB HUBs or desktop printers have to use USB-C. Nor does it seam to toss in laptops (some of those need more juice than USB-C can give).

More curious if they will get apple to follow it. They already tried to make Apple use microUSB. This was back when the horrible chunky 30 pin connector was still used. They instead made lightning. This new port has much the same capabilities as a microUSB except that it is reversible (its also only USB 2.0 480Mbit). But then again USB-C did not exist back then, and Apples move is probably what promoted USB to come up with a reversible connector too.

How capabilities of USB-C are presented to the user is a different shitshow tho. It only has to support USB 2.0, anything else is optional (USB 3.0, 20Gbit, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt...etc) and will simply not work if both devices don't implement the same secondary optional feature.(Nor is this marked in any way next to the port, it simply has a generic USB logo)
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2022, 07:12:17 am »
The chargers are already compatible though, they're standard USB and I use apple chargers on other devices all the time, the only thing different is the cable and a cable comes with the phone, and AFAIK the latest iPhones don't even include a charger. I don't see how this is going to reduce waste.
 

Offline JohanH

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2022, 07:12:28 am »
I think this is likely to have similar unintended consequences, the inevitable result of technologically illiterate bureaucrats trying to legislate technology.

We have examples that could have lead to disasters due to such tech illiterate bureaucrats. Nice example a couple of years ago was the one digital commissioner promoting self-driving cars and wireless networks, without any knowledge what he was rambling about. Fortunately the parliament listens to technical experts and have in many cases shown common sense and stopped many disasters (this is at least my impression from the topics I have followed).
 

Offline Berni

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Re: The EU is enforcing USB-C on portable devices
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2022, 07:18:58 am »
We have examples that could have lead to disasters due to such tech illiterate bureaucrats. Nice example a couple of years ago was the one digital commissioner promoting self-driving cars and wireless networks, without any knowledge what he was rambling about. Fortunately the parliament listens to technical experts and have in many cases shown common sense and stopped many disasters (this is at least my impression from the topics I have followed).

There was also the hilarious claim from the Australian prime minister:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2140747-laws-of-mathematics-dont-apply-here-says-australian-pm/

They ware pushing for companies running chat applications with end to end encryption to have to hand over chat logs to the authorities. Even after being explained to him why doing this is not technologically possible he said they should do it anyway. Since after all: "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia"
 


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