The Synergetic Advancement of USB-IF Specifications and the Promira Serial Platform for Cable Testing

UPDATE 2019-05-31: Total Phase has released the new Advanced Cable Tester v2, a successor to the original product mentioned below.  The original version is no longer supported. Click here to learn more about the Advanced Cable Tester v2.


Last week we wrapped up another USB-IF Compliance Workshop – “Plugfest” – in Portland. This was the 100th event, quite a huge milestone. The first event I attended was in the year 2000 or so in Milpitas, technology goals have certainly advanced since then!

Even compared to a year ago, the USB world is in a much different place. Type-C/Power Delivery has made major strides in a short time – the concept of interoperability is getting closer to being realized, and the failures of the past are becoming fewer in number.  But that’s not all - adoption is spreading like wildfire.

Earlier this month, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) announced, in cooperation with the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), that IEC has adopted the latest USB-IF specifications for high-speed data delivery and enhanced usages for device charging. This is a specific reference to USB Type-C™ Cable and Connector, USB Power Delivery and USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps) specifications that define a single-cable solution for data and power delivery as well as audio and video.

The IEC is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. The USB-IF is a non-profit corporation founded by the group of companies that developed the Universal Serial Bus specification. These two powerhouses, together, have enough reach to influence a major shift in the landscape of the consumer cable world.

The advances outlined by these two organizations are expected to increase usability of power supplies, improve consumer convenience and reduce e-waste worldwide. Specifications and the enforcement of them will help improve the level of performance and help keep sub-par cables off the market.

The current ecosystem is evolving at a rapid pace and the standards bodies are responding quickly in order to protect the industry and consumers alike. It’s complicated because cables are being introduced to the market in response to consumer demands. Unfortunately, not all of these cables are high quality and honestly, some are down right bad. We are at a point where cable testing is far more critical than before - that’s why this joint announcement from the IEC and USB-IF is so ground breaking. See the press release for more details.

Total Phase realizes how much is at stake. We have complied with the USB-IF, and worked closely with cable manufacturers and consumer product providers to develop a cable tester to help enforce and test against these standards. The Total Phase Advanced Cable Tester provides high-fidelity  data  throughput  measurement, continuity  testing,  IR  drop  for  safe  operation/reliability,  and  e-marker verification.  Learn more about how this works for you.

 Promira cable tester

For more information about the configurable Promira Serial Platform as the  tool for cable compliance testing and other Total Phase products, feel free to email us at

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