The Raspberry Pi 4 launched in late June and as usual, it’s a major upgrade over the prior model, packing more RAM, enough graphics horsepower to drive a pair of 4K displays, and USB-C charging instead of micro-USB. But there’s a problem: The USB-C charging doesn’t work with some USB-C chargers.
Compatibility woes are nothing new with USB-C, but in this case, the problem lies with the Pi. As first described by Tyler Ward, the Raspberry Pi 4 uses “incorrect detection circuitry on the Pi end of the USB connection.” The $35 micro-PC shares a single resistor for two of the USB-C port’s pins, while the official USB-C spec calls for each pin to get a resistor of its own. This non-compliant design breaks functionality with more powerful “e-marked” cables, such as the USB-C chargers that ship with Apple’s MacBooks and some Windows 10 laptops.