Apple Showcased Its First USB Type-C Based iOS Product with the iPad Pro 2018
Apple has recently released its newest iPad Pro as the first iOS product that uses USB Type-C instead of the Lightning connector which includes the Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (2018). Along with the latest iPhone XS, iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max, the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) also supports eSIM technology for the first time as well as the current iOS 12 through Apple branded A12X Bionic chipset. With eSIM, the new iPad Pro provides an option to operate on a mobile network without needing a physical SIM card although it still allows using traditional Apple SIM cards from supported mobile carrier networks.
The 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) which also supports fast charging using USB Power Delivery 2.0 technology is going beyond the Apple platform with the new USB Type-C connector. Unlike previous models such as the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro that still uses the Lightning connector, the new iPad Pro now allows a wide variety of USB Power Delivery based chargers to be used over USB-C. By also being the first iOS product to support DisplayPort Alternate Mode over USB-C, the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) enables connecting to external displays for video output. The 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) also offers more storage up to 1TB and supports 4K video @ 60 fps as compared to only 512GB and 4K video @ 30 fps by the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
While the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) can run faster with the latest A12X Bionic chipset, it still doesn't come with wireless charging despite being supported by the more recent iPhone's. Apple has also replaced the 3.5 mm headphone jack on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro with USB Type-C audio output on the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018).
Similar to the iPhone X and above, the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) now implements facial recognition in place of the previous fingerprint sensor. It's also missing the home button on its updated user interface but has a better display screen than the 2017 version.
The 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) comes with a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, 18W USB Type-C power adapter and documentation instead of the typical USB to Lightning cable and 12W USB power adapter that shipped with the older iPad's.
The USB-C power adapter supports 15 watts (5 volts @ 3 amps) and 18 watts (9 volts @ 2 amps) power profiles, allowing for quicker charging through USB Power Delivery than the 12W USB power adapter used by the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Click here to view more details on the power capabilities of the Apple 18W USB-C Power Adapter.
With USB Type-C, the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) is a progressive move by Apple to promote iOS to a wider range of audience especially Android fans.
Using the USB Power Test App from Granite River Labs with the Granite River Labs USB Power Delivery Compliance C2 Tester, we generate the following test results to check the power profile of the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018).
The USB Power Test App first negotiates a power contract emulating the Source to determine the Power Delivery Sink capabilities of the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018). The USB Power Test App then reports out the voltage and current supported by the iPad for each of the Source PDO's advertised to the iPad.
The USB Power Test App from Granite River Labs also produces a voltage, current trace plot which graphically shows the voltage and current requested by the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) for each advertised Source PDO throughout the power negotiation.
Using the USB Power Delivery Compliance C2 Tester from Granite River Labs to run just a subset of the full USB Power Delivery compliance test suite, we can see that the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) supports fixed PDO's of 7.5 watts (5 volts @ 1.5 amps) and 15 watts (5 volts @ 3 amps) as well as variable power supply of 14.25-47.25 watts range (4.75-15.75 volts @ 3 amps) for charging. Note a compliance failure was observed.
Supply Type #1
Peak Current #1
Max Current #1
Supply Type #1
OP Current #1
Supply Type #2
Min Voltage #2
Max Voltage #2
Op Current #2
USB-IF High Level Mapping Summary
Test Group Description
BMC Physical Layer Transmitter
BMC Physical Layer Receiver
BMC Physical Layer Miscellaneous
Protocol Specific Primary
Power Source/Sink Primary
TDA.126.96.36.199 BMC PHY TX EYE
TDA.188.8.131.52 BMC PHY TX BIT
TDA.184.108.40.206 BMC PHY RX INT REJ
TDA.220.127.116.11 BMC PHY RX BUSIDL
TDA.18.104.22.168 BMC PHY TERM
TDA.22.214.171.124 BMC PHY MSG
TDA.2.2.1 BMC PROT SEQ GETCAPS
TDA.2.2.7 BMC PROT BIST NOT 5V SRC
TDA.2.2.9 BMC PROT GSC REC
TDA.2.2.10 BMC PROT IGN PPS
TDA.126.96.36.199 POW SRC LOAD P PC
TDA.188.8.131.52 POW SRC LOAD CP ACC
TDA.184.108.40.206 POW SNK TRANS C CP
TDA.220.127.116.11 POW SNK TRANS PC
BMC Eye Diagram
Here we used the GRL-USB-PD C2 Compliance Test Solution App to output a load trace diagram to also see that the 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) supports different voltage and current levels for charging.