Raspberry Pi 4 does no longer work with some USB-C chargers

Raspberry Pi PoE HAT

Raspberry Pi PoE HAT

As TechRepublic reports, attempting to power on a Raspberry Pi 4 with some USB-C cables doesn't work as the board is recognized as an audio adapter and won't have power supplied to it.

Cutting corners: Cutting corners has seemingly backfired on the Raspberry Pi Foundation as its newest product, the Pi 4, has been confirmed to feature a non-compliant USB-C implementation that tampers with compatibility. USB-C issues aren't an unheard-of problem, as the Nintendo Switch also packs a non-standard USB-C port that won't work with all cables, and early phones and laptops equipped with USB-C charging could be fried by rogue cables.

These e-marked cables have chips that verify the cable's characteristics.

"A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory, and refuse to provide power", Upton was quoted as saying.

An e-marked cable uses a chip to make sure that the cable can handle the power or data transmission requirements of the intended use.

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As an illustration, you should utilize a MacBook Pro charger with loads of USB-C devices. The reason boils down to incorrect detection circuitry being present on the Raspberry Pi end of the USB connection.

Do you have a Raspberry Pi 4 sitting around waiting to have some fun? "Instead of trying to come up with some clever circuit, hardware designers should simply copy the figure from the USB-C Spec exactly", wrote Leung. He explains that from a technical perspective, the USB-C specification defines two pins called CC1 and CC2 for connecting to the power sink in a specific way. The Raspberry Pi Foundation will probably fix this design error in future board revisions, so you might get a more compatible device if you wait for that. "It's surprising this didn't show up in our (quite extensive) field testing program".

Benson Leung, a Google Chrome OS engineer, who's been waging a campaign on shoddy USB-C cables says Raspberry Pi engineers made a "common USB-C hardware design mistake" that makes even compliant USB-C chargers deliver zero volts instead of the 5V needed by the Pi 4.

We reached out to Raspberry Pi about this issue and were told a board revision with a spec-compliant charging port should be out sometime in the "next few months".

The Raspberry Pi 4 promised dual 4K.

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