FWIW, from the photos, it looks like the charger is not very bad from safety perspective -- there is a wide, healthy space between high and low side. (unless there is a diagonal trace in the "The back of the PCB" photo, between high and low voltage sides.. but it is so absurd if true, I think it is just a camera artifact)
Ha ha, thanks! I agree with you that it looks okay from a safety perspective. It looks like they built the charger with reasonable quality, not cutting corners, but it's not at the Apple level of (over-)engineering. The one sketchy thing is the charger panel that just pops off (instead of being glued/welded), potentially exposing the user to high voltage.
One interesting thing is the amount of complexity that USB-C adds. The charger has a separate daughter board for the Cypress USB-C controller chip. This chip contains a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0 CPU running at 48 MHz. I believe that works out to about 8 Cray 1 supercomputers using the Dhrystone benchmark.
The switching power supply is a quasi-resonant flyback topology. To oversimplify, the incoming AC is rectified to DC, chopped up into pulses that are fed through the flyback transformer. The output from the transformer is rectified, yielding the low-voltage, high-current DC output.
One somewhat advanced feature is that the output is not rectified by a diode, but by a MOSFET controlled by the controller chip. This is called synchronous rectification. This improves efficiency because you don't have the voltage drop you get across a diode.
The SMPS controller chip is interesting. Most switching power supplies have an optoisolator to provide feedback between the output and the control chip. But this control chip connects to both the input side and output side; it contains an inductive isolator internally. The control chip also contains the MOSFET that chops up the input voltage. So the big controller chip replaces multiple components in a typical charger.
The LED indicator is a bit puzzling. There's a TL431 voltage reference chip next to it. The TL431 is extremely common in chargers to provide the feedback for voltage regulation, but apparently it's being used here to drive the LED.
Exponential growth is a crazy thing.
On the other hand, would be fun if you could run complicated calculations on just your charger.
That sounds pretty sketchy indeed. Isn't that terribly dangerous? Could a child pop it off? Does that meet legal safety requirements for this kind of product?
There's a lot of clunky grammar in this post. Maybe it's a submarine advertisement?
Which proves absolutely nothing, of course. But it is consistent with how this sort of thing might happen. Companies often hire someone from their own country to do stuff for them.
EDIT: I think people have not understood what I'm saying here. I'm not trying to imply anything bad about Anker. I'm trying to explain what the comment two levels above mine may have been implying. The fact that this site is Chinese isn't a refutation of the scenario they're suggesting, it's part of it. (On a side note, I charged my phone on an Anker charger last night.)
After its launch, the emphasis seemed to be a decent level of quality, i.e. it will actually be what it says on the tin. The specs we provide, it will conform to.
Which has led me to turn to Anker products in order to get a "known quality."
Has this changed?
I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Someone advanced a theory that it could be "submarine advertisement", another person said the explanation is just that the site is Chinese, and I said that doesn't refute the notion. I'm not trying to defend that position; I'm just trying to keep the reasoning sound once that the exploration of that hypothetical has started.
There's a lot of clunky grammar in your post. Maybe it's a submarine advertisement?
See how ridiculous it is to assume grammar errors imply nefarious ends? You're not playing devil's advocate, you're backing up a crackpot statement.
Logic and rational discourse are not a game where there are only two sides, and a statement against one is automatically a statement in support of the other.
I only know of two shipping GaN chargers at the moment: the 45w RAVPower (RP-PC104), and the 45w Mu One. I imagine we'll see an ton of GaN chargers this year.
Didn't think of the Dart since it's been around for a while. That has to be one of (the?) first GaN chargers to market?
Turns out Discovery and Distribution aren't really a solved problem at all in the world of Internet.
I just wish some of these had two port though. I am starting to wonder if there will be hotels adopting USB-C as Charging standards and provides Port for it.
Turns out Discovery and Distribution aren't really a solved problem at all in the world of Internet.
Absolutely not, I am trying to find a shoulder bag for my new on call kit (the One Mix Yoga 2S makes it possible for me to not haul a 14" laptop for once-in-three-months-but-need-to-answer-them-immediately emergencies), the upcoming Dasung not-eReader will be a monitor for it) and it's amazing how much crap simple search finds and you need forums and reddit to find anything useful. There's no search engine for bags by dimensions, even worse, many webpages for bags do not have pocket dimensions on them (sometimes even the amount of pockets is unclear!) and I am like, why do you even have a webpage? Maxpedition is the gold standard for the latter (look at the dimensions tab of https://www.maxpedition.com/products/beefy-pocket-organizer?... ) but they don't have a by dimension search either. This is https://www.pacsafe.com/metrosafe-ls100-anti-theft-cross-bod... typical of a terrible web page. It touts the anti theft features but what you can pack in there is a total mystery. The photo makes it well visible there are two compartments but how big they are? You won't learn it from this page for sure. Finally, neither manufacturers nor bag reviwers will pack a bag to the gills and take a trip to the nearest airport and put the bag in a cage and show whether it fits personal item, carry on size or not. This would be, you know, useful.
( If it is cost then there is no hope of a nickel and dime fruit company to include it by default )
You are starting to see them in consumer goods where they can reduce the total system cost, or get the size down in premium goods.
For higher power stuff, they have to compete with silicon carbide which can handle very high temperatures, so your cooling needs are smaller.
: IPAW60R380CEXKSA1 (silicon) costs $1.27, IGT60R190D1SATMA1 (GaN) costs $13.
What GaN actually does is, mainly, decrease switching losses. That means switching frequency can go up, or efficiency, or power density. These are all good things, to be sure, but the magnitude of improvement GaN brings to most designs is simply not large enough to justify the cost of the parts and the increased design attention needed to use them. (They're fussy little things.)
That said, I'm bullish on GaN in the medium-term. There are some cool tricks that are infeasible or impossible without them, and they really are better in a lot of ways. It'll just take a while for them to trickle downmarket, and even still they're not going to be replacing Si FETs anytime soon. (Part of the lag in GaN adoption is simply that Si FETs have gotten really, really good.)
The main advantage of GaN is to allow simple buck converter to get smaller, and improve their power density. The biggest advantage is really the size.
May I know, are you working in electronics?
Which basically means no one is making enough marketing about this use case. Size of charger matters a lot. If it was Apple they will be very loud about it as Innovation. ( At least Consumer are willing to pay for it )
Yes, size is the main product-level advantage of GaN. But it only lets some of the system shrink; for something like a mains charger, you still need the isolation magnetics, so your overall size is still constrained. And at the power levels of a few watts that many chargers work with, Si FETs are simply good enough. A 5W USB charger isn't going to get any smaller with GaN. It only starts to get interesting with really high power densities.
1. You can isolate with caps... if you trust their manufacturer. http://www.helixsemiconductors.com/uploads/cms_uploads/2018/...
2. Well if things go this way, one can go for "virtual isolation" with beefy mosfets, and pray that the gate fail before the junction melts to pieces. This is actually what apple recently patented.
Nice to meet an actual engineer here. What is your field of work?
If anyone else has this issue, right clicking the image and using "View Image" does work, I guess it's relying on jquery to display them on the page or something?
It's cheaper to buy two single port ones though :(
I'm sure we'll see ones that can handle enough output for a computer + phone in the near future!
I do carry an Anker with one USB-C and four A for travel with my (USB-C) laptop(s).
While I am wishing... A USB-C hub (bus powered or from a PD input) with full speed USB-C ports, maybe 4-6, and an A or two for good measure.
I know this is supported in this google dual-port PD charger: https://store.google.com/gb/product/usb_c_dual_port_charger
There is an explanation on how the power budget is split in this post: https://plus.google.com/+BensonLeung/posts/8jmUYtJxAwX
Presumably other multi-port chargers also do similair things
Perhaps the product designers said 'it's gotta weigh at least 5 oz' and the engineers thought they'd use old-fashioned huge low frequency 20kHz flyback transformers rather than put a steel weight in.
Sure, it is not 1MHz, but I think high voltage, high frequency MOSFETs might be too expensive for just 18W design.
All the components I checked are already capable of it, so I guess some tests failed and they rushed it to market without 15 and 20v support?
I can plug my Macbook into a 5V only USB phone charger and it says it's charging (ok, it doesn't really keep up with the power usage, so the battery still drains, but it drains slower than it would if not plugged into anything at all)
Also, having both step-up and step down convertors in your laptop is going to make everything a bit heavier, bulkier, and costlier, for the very tiny proportion of users who want to charge from a 5v phone charger overnight.
Check this app note from Intersil/Renesas: https://www.renesas.com/eu/en/doc/whitepapers/power/usb-c-bu...
(of course, it may be slightly less efficient in boost charging, but since the 5V usb source has limited power, this may not be a concern in terms of component thermal limits etc).
It is super annoying that I can't use any of my power banks as laptop-like batteries for Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and the like.
It's hard to say that the poor implementation of USB-PD ruins the XPS 13, because it's overall a great laptop. But it is very annoying to travel with this computer, realize that you brought only an 18w or 30w charger, and contemplate how nearly every other device you have works fine with it. And every year since 2016 I decline to upgrade my XPS 13 because they haven't fixed this (moreover they probably don't even consider it a problem).
it's cheap super portable considering it charges all my devices at once and if you don't need to charge fast on all ports at once it's totally fine.
edit: amazon reviews look like you have to get lucky to get one that doesn't blow up... mine works absolutely fine since 6 month though.
Apple 18W charger (iPad Pro): http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/939.html
Apple 61W charger (Macbook Pro): http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/1217.html
Apple 87W charger (Macbook Pro): http://www.chargerlab.com/archives/1292.html
I suppose the big yellow-wrapped thing is the voltage transformation stage, but the connector should feed directly into it. Looks like it is actually be a transformer rather than a switching supply, which I suppose could cut costs.
The main controller has an isolated primary/secondary side, so it's fine for it to bridge. According to the datasheet it's got >4kV of isolation.
The big yellow thing is a transformer, but it's switched at high frequency; this is quite common in this kind of thing. Note that the secondary wires coming out of the top are properly insulated, so this should be quite well isolated.
The class-Y capacitor is designed for exactly this purpose.
It looks like power comes in right above the FT15SM. I'm seeing great separation between the left and right side. Sure, there isn't' an air-gap, but it looks like good enough. It's compact and potted which makes it hard for either of us to get a really good idea.
The actual seperation you need isn't that big and if you're careful you don't need to divide the PCB into two strict sections (just look at most Multimeter PCBs).
I also suspect that like 99% of power supplies, this is a transformer with a switching voltage regulator behind it since PD 2.0 requires a range of voltages to be available.
(1) Low-frequency transformers rated for 18 watts are way bigger than this
(2) There is a nice big picture of INN3265C ("Flyback Switcher IC")
So there is no way one could connect the connector directly to the transformer.
Switching power supplies can use transformers too while remaining efficient.
Yes. This is Chinese version. It's "Triple C" certified instead of UL certified. The components might be different across different versions but we are not certain.
The next time we will try to have a comparison between the same products aimed for differnet regions.
You can checkout the teardown of an US version 60W Anker USB-C charger from this link.
Does Anker have a good reputation? I bought an Anker cigarette lighter - USB charger a couple years ago. One of the reviewers pointed out it fit poorly, took it apart, and made suggestions to Anker on how to improve the product (and got feedback from Anker). I figured it was safe to assume the improvements made it into the product. Turns out that a year later no improvement had been made and the damn thing would disconnect every time I hit a bump or looked at it funny.
From my POV Anker is 7-11 quality stuff.
Edit: I'm loving the downvotes from the brand loyalists who've nothing to contribute.
Every time I buy non-Anker USB charging stuff I end up regretting it. Although I have had problems with their USB cables, the micro-USB ends always get loose after a year or so. But this is kind of a microUSB thing anyways.
If you're always chasing the latest hotness and need a power bank that does QC4/USB-PD right now, then Aukey and RAVPower will probably work well enough. But I've started pushing my family to get Anker (or buying for them as stocking stuffers) simply so that they all have something they can hold onto without having to worry about having to rotate out every year.
In fact, the Anker car charger I got was specifically to replace a cheapo-brand one that kept disconnecting at the slightest of bumps or being aligned a certain way in the cigarette lighter port. The Anker one works consistently and does not lose connection for me at all.
I guess you could call me a "brand loyalist" but they've given me no reason not to be at this point. That's not to say I disbelieve others' experiences that aren't so great, but compared to much of their competition at their price points, their quality stands out IMHO
The cable itself started getting uncomfortably warm to the touch. Glad we noticed before things got worse.
* Size A: inside diameter ~21.0mm (mainly American cars)
* Size B: inside diameter ~21.5mm (mainly European cars)
There are a variety of other critiques (e.g. came apart in the receptacle and "All of this could have been avoided if Anker would have angled the leading edge of the side electrical connections more.", "The catches on the side of the charger won't release like the traditional spring ones do.", lack of fuse) as well.
Anker has been fine in terms of quality in my opinion, never had an issue with any of their products. Although i must say there are better on the market. especially in terms of powerbanks.
Potentially, but I'd hope that Anker would exercise a bit more control over their Amazon inventory. From the looks of it there are still plenty of (premature failure, fire) complaints in addition to the no return policy. It screams fly by night to me, but it's interesting to see they've a better reputation with other products.
Here's the review (about eighteen months before I bought mine): https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R4F5INKA6PO2I/
I was able to return anker products just fine. (i might add im not in the US though)