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/ Powered USB University

StarTech University offers computer enthusiasts and IT professionals a chance to learn more about new technologies and innovations in the IT world. Take some time to review the material, then pass the exam to earn your printable certificate for each course.

Course 7: Powered USB

Chapter 3: Availability

It is important to note that PoweredUSB has not been ratified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). It is also extremely unlikely that the Forum will ever consider approving PoweredUSB as a standard. The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) has, however, approved PoweredUSB as part of its broader UnifiedPOS standard for the retail industry. Similarly, the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) has approved the USB PlusPower connector as an industry standard.

Despite the incomplete approval landscape, PoweredUSB technology has nonetheless been accepted by major POS manufacturers, including Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, NCR, Star Micronics and Wincor, and is currently incorporated into virtually all of their mainstream retail offerings. When specifying new POS solutions for Requests for Proposal (RFP), retailers almost always require PoweredUSB capability as a condition of eligibility.

IBM originally developed the technology in partnership with NCR and FCI/Berg and now charges product manufacturers a licensing fee. The company holds three patents on enhanced USB technology that incorporates data and power connectivity in a common, stacked connector. The first of these patents was submitted in 1997 and approved in 2000. At the time, IBM's goal in pursuing this technology was to support a particular retail POS solution, but its subsequent decision to allow third party vendors to produce PoweredUSB-capable devices under license has helped define and expand the market.

Some examples of PoweredUSB cables and adapters currently available include:

PoweredUSB Adapter cards

PoweredUSB Cables

  • 3 ft 24V to 1x8 PoweredUSB Cable,
  • 6 ft 24V to 2x4 PoweredUSB Cable,
  • 10 ft 24V to Hosiden+USB B PoweredUSB Cable

To see’s full range of PoweredUSB Adapters and Cables, please click here.


Next — Chapter 4: Future