Power Delivery and Quick Charge are standards for exchanging information between the charger (smartphone charger, laptop charger, power bank) and the device itself. The device that receives power tells the device that gives power what voltage it needs to charge.

A little bit about what Power Delivery and Quick Charge were when the first USB was invented, it had only four pins and was designed to transfer information and power to a device that is connected to USB. USB support in the original specification current 0,5A and voltage 5V; load began to increase in the subsequent current, and you could find ports with a current of 1A or even 2A.

But the manufacturers of phones and computers have improved the equipment, and the ability to quickly charge a phone or laptop appeared. But the 5V USB could not provide fast charging. With low voltage, and very high currents, the ports would melt from the high current.

It became clear that increasing the charging voltage with less current was necessary.

Let’s take the example of your phone being able to charge quickly from an 18W charger. With a 5-volt charging voltage, the current flowing through the wire would be 3.6A. But if your phone supports 12V fast charging, the current would only be 1.5A. Therefore the laptops are primarily charged with 20-48 volts. But how do you determine which voltage to charge the phone at, 5V or 12V? Here are the new USB type C and Lightning ports from Apple, which began to support the transfer of information to the charger voltage the charger needs to deliver. That’s how the standards for transferring power to devices, Power Delivery and Quick Charge, came about.

Table of Contents

Power Delivery vs Quick Charge

Power Delivery and Quick Charge differ only in the communication protocol and the charging algorithm. And starting with Quick Charge 4 they are compatible with Power Delivery.
Power Delivery is a development of USB Implementers Forum, the developer of USB standards.
Quick Charge – a development of Qualcomm

At the beginning of 2010, the development of technology for fast charging gadgets engaged not only Qualcomm but other companies have tried to take a leading position in this segment. There are also such protocols.

  • MediaTek Pump Express
  • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
  • Oppo Super VOOC Flash Charge, also known as Dash Charge or Warp Charge on OnePlus devices and Dart Charge on Realme devices.
  • Huawei SuperCharge
  • Anker PowerIQ
  • Google fast charging
  • Motorola TurboPower

But these protocols are not widely used. The most popular was Power Delivery, which is supported by many devices, including some Apple devices. Quick Charge is also primarily used in some devices with Qualcomm processors and chargers from Chinese manufacturers. Compatibility with the Power Delivery protocol has expanded the use of Quick Charge.

How Power Delivery and Quick Charge work

As I said before, the device receiving power via PD or QC protocol tells the device giving power what voltage is needed for charging. The latest protocols have many features, including fast charging and the ability to customize the charging algorithm. For example, to extend the battery life, fast charging is performed up to 80% of the battery capacity, and standard charging is performed once 80% is reached. The device is charged through the wires dedicated to the charge; the controller controls the charge voltage through separate signal wires. If you refer to the USB C specification, a full-featured cable has a rather complicated structure. Unfortunately, USB Type C cable manufacturers save money and make cables specifically for certain needs.

Which cables support Power Delivery and Quick Charge

You should know that only USB C to USB C cables support fast charging because they have wires that carry the control signals. You’ll say, “But I’ve seen USB A to USB C cables for sale that supports fast charging.”

That’s not true; it’s just that some manufacturers cheat by saying they sell USB A cables with QC support. Such a cable does not support QC. Such cables are made of high-quality material (copper) and have enough cross-section to carry current from the charger to the device being charged, and the device itself will draw as much power as it needs. If you have an 18W USB A phone charger, it is rated at three amps by default. Since your smartphone is equipped with a fast charging feature, it may draw three amps by default. But this in no way means QC support.

Voltages, current, and power supported by Power Delivery and Quick Charge

The principle of increasing the power for fast charging devices is as follows, the current is the same, the voltage is higher, and naturally, the charging power of the device is increased.
According to the standard, Power Delivery and Quick Charge have these specifications.

Voltages (V)Current (A)Power rating (W)Cable type
Power Range
Power Range
Power Range
Power Range
Power Range
Power Range
Power Range

Chinese manufacturers have additionally added support for 12V and 24V. These voltages are not in demand for charging devices but for powering devices as a backup or in the absence of mains power. It is required for powering routers and surveillance cameras. For example, Baseus Power Banks support 12V. To power the router, a unique cable USB C to DC. The cable has a built-in chip that determines the voltage that should be output by the power bank.

Standard Power Range (SPR) vs Extended Power Range (EPR)

The difference between SPR and EPR is this.

The SPR uses a CC wire to transmit signals; the power supply starts to output a specific voltage when it receives the signal. During the charging process, the voltage is no longer regulated.
EPR – the V CONN wire is used to send signals to the power supply, and the devices can communicate with each other during the charge, changing the voltage in steps of 0.1V as the device is charged.

So you have seen USB C cables with 100W or 240W charging capability. That’s right; according to the standard, such a cable must be marked EPR, although this is only sometimes respected.

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