The Raspberry Pi 4 Has a Flawed USB-C Port


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.

"The first is that they designed this circuit themselves, perhaps trying to do something clever with current level detection, but failing to do it right". One of those ways is power through a standard USB-C connector to allow for the extra bit of juice the beefier board needs compared to its older brother. Incidentally, many users have strongly claimed that all USB Type C cables that have the ability to deliver power as well as transmit data should have worked with the new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B if the Raspberry Pi Foundation had simply followed the USB-C specification correctly and thoroughly. More specifically, it doesn't work with so-called e-marked cables, such as those used on Apple Macbooks and several other laptops.

Compatibility woes are nothing new with USB-C, but in this case, the problem lies with the Pi. If you plug one of those into the Raspberry Pi 4, it detects it as an audio accessory like earbuds or a 3.5mm adapter because of the incorrect resistor setup. Usually, e-marked cables are more expensive and come with larger, higher-powered items, like a USB-C laptop. However, if you end up scratching your head and also you don't understand why your Raspberry Pi is not powering up, now you know why. The system doesn't power up. Pi co-creator Eben Upton told Tech Republic that he expects "this will be fixed in a future board revision", and a Pi spokesperson confirmed to Ars Technica that a board revision with a compliant USB-C charging port should roll out in the "next few months".

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Benson Leung, a Google Chrome OS engineer, has always been fighting for a stricter and more uniform testing and approval standard for USB Type C cables and chargers.

The "suggested workarounds" are to just use a non-e-marked cable, like the official Pi 4 charger. The Figure 4-9 I posted above isn't simply a rough guideline of one way of making a USB-C receptacle.

To get started, you can download the Raspberry Pi 4 image from Kali's website and following these instructions to get it setup.