UL releases American standard for ICT power cables

UL Standards & Engagement has published its American standard for the assembly of power cables for laptops and other IT devices.

The first edition of ANSI/UL 9990, the Standard for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Power Cables, was published on July 31, 2023.

According to a news article on UL.com, the publication came after a consensus was reached by the UL 9990 Standard Technical Committee (TC).

UL.com reported that the new standard established the technical requirements for evaluating potential hazards of ICT cable assemblies when used for powering or charging audio/video, information and communication technology equipment applications.

The news article went on: “These cables offer a more convenient and simpler device connection, as they allow data sync charging cables to transmit data and power simultaneously over the same cable. However, as the electrical power level carried by ICT power cable assemblies continues to increase, potential safety hazards also increase. These hazards need to be considered in cable design and material selection.”

ICT cable assemblies certified to ANSI/UL 9990 are permitted to include the UL Mark on product packaging. The new standard comes after the USB Power Delivery (PD) Extended Power Range (EPR) specification was released in 2021. That specification permitted “power delivery up to 240 watts through a USB Type-C® cable assembly.”

“This higher power presents an increased public safety concern and fire risk not previously present in lower power cable assemblies,” UL.com reported.

UL Standards & Engagement is the nonprofit arm of the UL umbrella of businesses. In its role it translates data and safety science research into safety standards and drives advocacy campaigns focused on improving public safety.