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USB Type-C PD3.0 Sink Controllers Enable Fast and Cost-Effective Charging

By: Ernest Lin, Division Manager, AC-DC Power & Lighting (APL) Division


If we’re not careful, many of us seem to end up with a drawer filled with old chargers for mobile phones, notebook PCs, or battery-powered home appliances and power tools. The phone or gadget they powered might have been thrown away years ago, but we still have a charger that feels like it might be useful for something else. However, with proprietary designs and connectors, these chargers never really find a new role.

This incompatibility of chargers, and the wastage it causes, is a big problem. For example, the European Union (EU) estimates that disposed of / unused chargers result in about 11,000 metric tons of e-waste per year1.

The answer to this issue is standardization: if all devices have the same type of charger, and we ensure chargers are interoperable with different products, consumers will then need fewer new chargers and can re-use their old ones. Battery-powered products can be sold with or without a charger, and users only pay for what they actually need.

In the EU, new legislation will mean that USB Type-C® will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras by December 20242. For electronic devices such as home appliances and cordless power tools, there's a growing demand for such USB Type-C chargers. The EU predicts that due to standardization enabling the re-use of chargers, consumers will save €250 million each year.

Similarly, in India, the government will require USB Type-C to be the standard charging port for mobile devices by March 20253, and consultations are in progress in Brazil4.


Optimizing fast charging

There is one potential issue: how can a standardized, generic charger deliver power as quickly as one optimized for a specific product?

For USB-C, the solution to optimizing charging with a generic product is called Power Delivery (PD)5., As part of the overall USB standard, this specification enables the charger and the powered product to negotiate and determine the appropriate voltage level and power profile. This allows the charger to provide the highest power possible, and hence to charge the product faster.

On the other hand, typical consumer devices and home appliances today are still bundled with purpose-built chargers or adaptors. By leveraging USB Type-C PD chargers for mobile phones and notebook PCs to power future generations of consumer devices, system manufacturers could further extend their contribution to e-waste reduction and corporate social responsibility goals. Therefore, equipping USB Type-C PD capability through USB PD sink controllers in new generations of devices has been emerging as key design criterion for system designers.


This negotiation and control requires sink controller ICs, such as the DIODES™ AP33771 and DIODES™ AP33772 from Diodes Incorporated. These controllers are compliant with PD3.0 and are part of Diodes’ broad portfolio of USB PD solutions.

The controllers are designed for both home appliances and cordless power tools, and provide a flexible, easy-to-use solution. The AP33771 and AP33772 have an operating voltage range of 3.3V to 21V and can deliver up to 100W.

The AP33771 uses a simple pin-driven setting of required voltages and power, which still provides the flexibility of selecting from eight output and ten power-level options to meet different customer demands. The AP33772 provides greater flexibility for more sophisticated designs that use a microcontroller, and it includes an I2C interface.


Both devices have built-in application firmware, which automatically carries out the PD3.0 negotiation procedure with an attached USB PD3.0 compliant charger. They can drive LED lighting from one of their GPIO pins, which provide a clear indication of the charging state and any potential fault.

By being able to flexibly pick the best voltage and power profile, the new sink controllers enable charging time to be reduced, and high-speed charging to be provided by standard USB-C power adaptors. As legislation will soon require standardization on USB-C chargers, this kind of sink controller is essential to deliver the fast, convenient charging experience that consumers have come to expect.



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

3 https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-makes-usb-type-c-charging-must-for-device-makers-from-march-2025-122122700779_1.html

4 https://www.gov.br/anatel/pt-br/assuntos/noticias/aberta-consulta-publica-sobre-requisitos-usb-c-em-telefones-celulares

5 https://www.usb.org/usb-charger-pd

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