Raspberry Pi 4 Won't Work with Some USB Type-C Cables


The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a schematic of the board which reveals that it has a missing CC resistor which makes sophisticated chargers like Macbook's type-C charger non-compatible with the board. Thankfully, the workaround for existing owners is a simple one.

"Benson Leung, an engineer at Google and one of the Internet's foremost USB-C implementation experts, has chimed in on the Pi 4's USB-C design too, with a Medium post titled "How to design a proper USB-C™ power sink (hint, not the way Raspberry Pi 4 did it)". It was the first Raspberry Pi SBC with a USB type-C port and the foundation has today admitted that the port has a faulty design.

Compatibility woes are nothing new with USB-C, but in this case, the problem lies with the Pi.

Unfortunately for the foundation and early adopters, an issue has been identified with the board that could hinder its use under certain circumstances.

It all boils down to the type of cable you use. "Raspberry Pi, you can do better", he pleaded. When connected to an electronically marked USB-C cable, the SBC detects the cable as an audio accessory and doesn't power the device. These new generation cables are typically used by Apple MacBooks and other laptops.

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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 added that he was surprised that the issue did not show up in its testing program, which he claims is "quite extensive". It is faster, efficient, and capable of delivering a large amount of power as compared to its predecessor, the micro USB port.

Leung has long back criticized Raspberry Pi makers for seemingly failing to have done sufficient testing. The system doesn't power up. Raspberry Pi designers apparently deviated from it in two critical ways. Blogger Tyler Ward first discovered that there was "incorrect detection circuitry" in the Pi 4's connector.

"Instead of trying to come up with some clever circuit, hardware designers should simply copy the figure from the USB-C Spec exactly". The second mistake is that they didn't actually test their Pi 4 design with advanced cables.