Saturday, April 24, 2010

GIGABYTE On/Off Charge: anytime high-speed iPhone charging from your PC’s USB ports


An estimated 50 million iPhones, 35 million iPod Touches and 450 thousand iPads have been sold into the global consumer market over the past few years. It’s quite understandable then that companies will would want to optimize their products for compatibility with these highly popular devices.


Most smart phones can charge overnight from your PC even if the PC is turned off, however this is not the case with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that only charge when the PC is running. In addition, these devices can only draw a mere 0.5A from traditional USB ports for a trickle charge that can take a lot longer than you hoped it would. 0.5A is so minimal that the iPad needs to be turned off itself in order to charge from a USB port. These devices charge a lot quicker and more conveniently with the chargers that are provided with them because the chargers offer higher current (more Amps).

At the same time, GIGABYTE has a unique technology called 3x USB power that was introduced to provide a better user experience regardless of the quality of USB cable being used. Poor quality cables suffer power degradation that can affect USB device operation, so for example, if the device is asking for 0.5A and the USB port can only put out 0.5A, the device may only receive 0.4A due to cable power degradation. By making more power available from the USB port, the device still receives the amount of current that it needs to operate reliably and people are happy with their GIGABYTE motherboard.

3x USB power makes up to 3 times the amperage available: USB 2.0 specification is 0.5A, GIGABYTE 3x USB power provides up to 1.5A; USB 3.0 specification is 0.9A, GIGABYTE 3x USB power provides up to 2.7A.

So On/Off Charge technology is a derivative of 3x USB power that GIGABYTE developed to optimize the ‘i-device’ experience for millions of people around the world by allowing them to charge their devices quicker.

Charging While Your PC is Off

imageOn/Off Charge consists of a software driver that allows the motherboard to recognize the i-device and provide the amount of power that it asks for, together with a dedicated USB onboard header that allows it to charge even when the PC is turned off. We chose to use an onboard USB header so that the On/Off Charge USB ports could be front panel ports for ease of use. The On/Off Charge driver is compatible with over 40 existing motherboards (that don’t have the On/Off Charge USB port connector) and has been available for download on the GIGABYTE motherboard utilities web page since March 11th. We decided to go public with it only once the new motherboards with the onboard port connector become available, and we are about to launch the first range of boards next week with the introduction of the AMD 800 series chipset models. Future GIGABYTE motherboards will have the white and red On/Off Charge USB port connector.

So, with the On/Off Charge driver installed, any USB port on the GIGABYTE motherboard models listed here will be able to charge an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch while the PC is running, but only those using a new model with the i-device connected to a white and red On/Off Charge USB port will be able to charge the i-device while the PC is off. If you connect your iPhone to a non On/Off Charge USB port while the PC is running and then shut down the system, it will continue to charge your device. So the advantage of the using the white and red On/Off Charge USB port is that you are able to connect and charge your device while the PC is off.


Here is a demonstration picture that we took yesterday to help explain On/Off Charge:


The PC on the left does not have On/Off Charge technology and is not charging the iPhone while the PC on the right with On/Off Charge is charging both an iPhone (0.52A) and an iPad (0.97A) simultaneously. Both PCs are off.

Useful links:




- GIGABYTE’s MoboTV Youtube Channel

- More information about On/Off Charge

- GIGABYTE’s official On/Off Charge press release

- GIGABYTE Motherboard Tech Column photo album on facebook

- Download the GIGABYTE On/Off Charge driver

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