USB-C has been mainstream for a couple of years at this point, and one of its huge advantages is that it can allow faster charging on a wide variety of devices. Today, Samsung is announcing two new USB-C PD controller chips that can be used in smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more.

To enable safe fast charging, a device with USB-C needs a controller chip to ensure it doesn’t try to pull too much power from the source charger. Samsung’s new chips support USB-C PD speeds up to 100W (20V/5A) with support for the latest USB-PD 3.0 spec.

Samsung has included flash memory inside of both chips to enable firmware updates, and the SE8A is the first controller chip like this with a Secure Element Integrated Circuit. This allows for further protective measures such as “security key storage, and encoding and decoding of sensitive data within a device.” The SE8A is already in mass production.

What’s also notable about these chips is that Samsung talks about them in reference to smartphones quite a few times in the press release. While the company says that these chips can be used in tablets, laptops, and monitors too, smartphones are the more compelling use case.

It’s unlikely anything close to 100W would be used in phones, but this could hint that Samsung wants to bring USB-C PD fast charging to more of its smartphones. After all, the Galaxy S10 5G has been the only Samsung phone to support the standard properly, while others are left with the aging Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 standard.

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Ben Schoon

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