Why Some USB-C Mobile Devices Can’t Do Simultaneous Power and Data

By: Adam Swimmer

2 Min Read

September 19, 2022

There are many USB-C mobile adapters on the market than can provide tablets and smartphones with simultaneous power and data, such as a LAVA eSynC or nSynC SimulCharge adapter. However, they aren’t compatible with all mobile devices. In most cases, the problem lies with the mobile device and not the adapter. This article will look at why not all USB-C mobile devices work with SimulCharge and other power-and-data adapters.

While most people just think of USB-C as a one-size-fits-all, the connector type has a wide range of specifications that may or may not be included with a given device.

For a mobile adapter to be able to provide simultaneous power and data to a USB-C tablet or smartphone, the mobile device must have the USB-C Power Delivery (USB-C PD) specification implemented.

With USB-C PD, the power direction is no longer limited, allowing power to flow either way between the Host and peripheral. This two-way flow allows eSynC and nSynC adapters (as well as competitors’ products) to both charge the mobile device and act as a peripheral for data transfer.

Unfortunately, many mobile devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (SM-T500) and Lenovo Tab M10 FHD Plus (TB-X606F) do not have the USB-C PD specification implemented. Without this specification, the mobile device is unable to negotiate a power contract with the adapter. This means the adapter can’t provide simultaneous power and data access to the mobile device, what LAVA refers to as SimulCharge.

Thankfully, LAVA offers an alternative. For USB-C mobile devices that lack USB-C PD, LAVA created the K-SynC line. Available in four different port configurations, the K-SynC line features two modes: Charge-only mode and OTG mode. In charge-only mode, the mobile device charges through the adapter.  In OTG mode, the mobile device runs off battery power, while also powering and communicating with USB peripherals.

So what you get is an ad-hoc SimulCharge experience because the mobile device can access data through the adapter while in OTG and then it can switch to the charge-only mode when it is low on battery power.

USB-C adapters, such as LAVA’s eSynC and nSynC adapters, that can provide simultaneous charging and data to a tablet or smartphone only work properly if specific hardware is installed on the mobile device. USB-C devices need to have USB-C Power Delivery specification implemented, otherwise the mobile device will be unable to negotiate a power contract with the adapter and data and power at the same time is not possible. LAVA developed the K-SynC line for USB-C devices incapable of SimulCharge by creating a similar experience by switching between charge-only and OTG modes. Find out more about the K-SynC line on LAVA’s website.