Raspberry Pi 4’s USB-C Port is Apparently Broken

The Raspberry Pi 4 was released two weeks ago, much to the excitement of DIY fans everywhere. This released brought on Bluetooth 5.0 support and finally adds a USB-C port. However, reports start surfacing of users having problems with this USB-C port.

According to Tyler Ward’s blog, this is apparently due to Raspberry Pi’s USBC-C non-compliant implementation. Google Engineer Benson Leung also clarifies this issue on his recent Medium blog post. This USB-C charging port only has a single resistor acros two “CC” pins. Both require their own 5.1K ohm resistor each for full compatibility.

Are There Any Workarounds for Users?

A simple solution would be to use a non e-marked charging cable. An example would be the cable provided with the Raspberry Pi 4 itself.

E-mark cables are basically fully featured USB-C cables with chips inside for negotiating power management, accessory modes, data rates, and other communication specs. Because the Pi 4 USB-C port’s incorrect wiring, these smart cables will detect the Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory. Thus refusing to charge them. An example of this would be most USB-C cables that come with laptops.

Will There Be A New Raspberry Pi 4 Revision Coming?

Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton acknowledges the issue via Tech Republic. He has since given confirmation of a new revision. Although, there are no firm launch dates available.

For now users will have no choice than to apply workarounds. Upton adds that news of incompatibility is a surprise to him. Considering it didn’t show up in their extensive field testing program.

Ron Perillo

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