Does the USB cable has any effect on fast charging?

December 09, 2019

Does the USB cable has any effect on fast charging?

In our previous article, we explained what is type c and what is PD charging. All the new tech are born of the necessity for faster-charging speed. Besides the USB types and fast charging protocols, here is another important affecting factor - the USB cables. Does Cable affect fast charging? Are all charging cables the same? Do shorter cables charge faster? Read our article to find the answer.

First, let's review some key techniques for fast charging. There are mainly 3 solutions to implement fast charging. 

1. High voltage & low current

representative example: Quick Charging (earlier version), announced by Qualcomm. 

It required a dedicated charging adapter providing high voltage. Meanwhile, it doesn't have much requirement for a cable. As long as the cable's maximum current is under design. Most A to C cables, micro USB cables, C to C cables in the market today can support QC. But only C to C cables can support QC 4+.
Cables support Quick Charger
 

2.low voltage & high current

presented by VOOC, announced by OPPO

Only the chargers and cables made by the manufacturers can provide a high-speed charging. The situation also happens on One Plus 3, Huawei  Mate9, Vivo x9 plus, etc.

3. compatibility solution

Power delivery, announced by USB-IF

USB PD 3.0  Protocol including a strong PPS Specification which could support the two charging solutions above and learned Quick Charging 4+, which could now adjust the voltage adaptively. You need a C to C cable to enjoy the high speed on charging and sync. 

Are all charging cables the same

Above all, you need to choose the right types of the cable according to the fast charging protocols your charger and phone support. 

Here are thousands of different C to C cables in the market but they are definitely not the same. The good and bad cables have a similar appearance. But a bad cable uses finer copper wire which has a higher resistance. This resistance causes energy loss inside the cable when an attached load draws a current, and causes a voltage drop which can reduce the voltage to the end device to a point where it is not possible to charge quickly or completely.

And a good cable should use tinned copper and consists of 4 layers structures to ensure durability and safe charging. Here is a picture to show Amoner cable structures. 

Amoner C to C cable

image: Amoner C to C cable

Besides, theoretically, longer cables charge slower than shorter cables. 2 meters cable has more energy loss than 1-meter cable does. But in fact, the charging speed difference caused by the cable length, within 3 meters, is so subtle that we could ignore it.

If you have any questions on cables or other phone accessories, please feel free to comment below. Share this article with your friends who are confused about fast charging and phone cables.

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