Certified USB chargers mean a future where cables 'just work'

The USB-IF is taking steps to guarantee USB-C chargers are up to spec.

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There are so many USB chargers in the world, you're bound to get stuck with one that doesn't work the way it should, or it may not work at all. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced a Certified USB Charger Compliance and Logo Program to offer USB chargers for compliant USB Type-C devices.

Essentially, this means several USB chargers going forward will be certified based upon their specifications, meant to reduce the number of chargers consumers need to purchase or carry around, thus eventually minimizing the electronic waste in landfills that piles up as a result. Equipment will carry the promise that "it just works," according to Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO.

The certification comes at a perfect time considering the various irregularities with USB Type-C cables, namely those Google engineer Benson Leung has been testing on his own. After a faulty USB-C cable ended up frying one of his devices, it's only natural to be wary of the USB Type-C cables you're utilizing if you're just buying them from any old manufacturer. Since it's a more powerful USB cable than 2.0/3.0 offered, there's more danger involved when it comes to purchasing the wrong cable. Certifications should cut down on these occurrences, or at least that's the hope.

Just like the USB-IF officially notes, non-compliant chargers can pose a risk to the functionality of electronics, which you're probably well aware of if you've ever purchased a faulty piece of equipment that not only didn't charge properly but also made your devices function strangely (or killed them outright, in the case of Leung.) Companies will be encouraged to submit their chargers for testing to earn the USB-IF certification going forward, and this type of certification can only be a good thing for buyers.