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USB C Authentication Program?

android
laptops
phone
#1

https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/01/02/usb-type-c-authentication-program-gets-started-sounds-like-its-effectively-drm-for-type-c-devices/

This sounded cool when I first heard about it, but now sounds more Orwellian than anything. Anyone that follows Apple’s lead is doing it wrong imo. Has the industry learned nothing? Assuring that a peripheral meets spec is great in the sea of Chinese clones, but which 3rd parties will be “allowed” to make devices for their products? I’d hate to be forced to buy genuine Samsung (or other) chargers and accessories.

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#2

Nintendo doesn’t even make a “to the standard” USB-C cable for the Switch…

I don’t want DRM, but I do want people to make things to a standard

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#3

The idea to have one cable for everything is welcomed ofc. But it didn´t really work out so well, yet.

While my notebbok, phone and switch use the same connector. I cannot just plug my notebook cable into everything and have it “fast charge”.

Many folks who might have destroyed their nintendo switch with 3rd party docks, might even look as this Authentification thing as a step in the right direction.

It might have a potential dark side to it. But also might just save some of your devices from death down the road.

So, kinda not sure what to think of it. I get the need. Might not like the result. But probably won´t change much looking at how I use cables now. I don´t do much of a cable share between most devices.

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#4

Good article, with a well-thought conclusion. This opens the possibility of DRM, but doesn’t mandate it.

I really don’t think anyone other than Apple could get away with forcing you to use their certified chargers and peripherals. Imagine Dell or Samsung trying such a thing-- people wouldn’t stand for it.

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#5

That´s what I thought too. Especially looking back. Would be a step backwards compared to micro usb to make branded chargers mandatory for no reason.

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#6

Don’t get me wrong, they would do it if they could. I just don’t think it would fly after a decade of interoperability with micro-USB.

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#7

I figure they will try it. And it will fail. But not before making them a load of money and making headlines everywhere.

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#8

The part of the article that talks about needing several different chargers using the same technology just because they are different brands is one of the things that worries me. I’ve been a fan of large, multi-outlet chargers for a while now and that would effectively end that. I agree that there needs to be a standard agreed upon because the many different charging technologies like Quick Charge 1,2,3, PD and other technologies is crazy, not to mention the cable requirements for each of them. It would be nice to have one technology for everything, including data transmission speed but that will never happen as budget devices are always going to use cheaper micro b or other alternatives.

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#9

Adding DRM which can be used for malicious purposes is not the solution to the problem.

USB C audio is so broken right now with many companies not following spec, and this will turn out to be the same way; by companies not following spec, and by locking certain devices to certain chargers.

This is stupid and should not be implemented.

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#10

I agree usb-c standard is everything usb should have been from the start.
But it is just that, a standard.
Should a useful and well thought out standard be destroyed because a pile of people are too cheap to actualy follow the standard? I hope not.
What they are proposing is a certification that the cable/device is in fact following the standard.
They are trying to ensure that your $3 cable doesn’t melt the battery out of your $600 smartphone.

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#11

And while that is an admirable aim, this also open the possibility of locking certain things like chargers to specific devices by way of a hardware validation list.

The ideal, if they do go this route, is a logging system where there is an approved hardware list but it does not stop non certified products being used but keeping note of what was used so that if a cheap charger kills the phone they can void you warranty.

Basically have a suggested ideal, but other wise leave the user to their own doings with the caveat that if it goes wrong you get a simple We told you so back and your on your own.

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#12

To be perfectly honest the biggest problem seems to be the inclusion of the 56k resister in the cable.
If I was designing a standard I would not leave this up to a third party to comply with. I would have included the resistor on my device behind the USB-c port. But since the resistor seems to have been an afterthought. I would consider adding a circuit that monitors the incoming current that would shunt the power through an internal 56k resistor if it exceeds the safe charging current.
The choice to leave third parties to protect your device seems like a lazy way to address the issue.

For people who are unfamiliar with this the 56k resistor limits the current entering your charging system. Without it your lithium ion battery can rapidly burn out each cell and may rapidly destroy your battery in a matter of weeks.

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#13

Fair enough, I also don’t want things melting other things.

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#14

I found this out the hard way when I went to replace the USB C connector of my wall charger for my tablet. Instead of the 15w charge I was normally getting, I ended up with a 5w charge because the replacement USB C male connector already had this 56k resistor in it. Live and learn.

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