I have a Qi wireless charging pad for my phone, powered via a micro-usb port. The markings on it indicate that it will accept the typical 5V that nearly every USB port provides, or it will accept 9V for "fast charge".
I was under the impression that USB standards allowed for no more than 5V.
My research shows that USB Power Delivery has several profiles (up to 20V), and Revision 2.0 Version 1.2 includes a 9V profile.
Now I'm wondering: How can voltages above the usual 5V be provided without worry of damaging an expensive phone when connecting them directly (no wireless pad)? If things are running at different voltages, wouldn't that cause an issue?
In this example, 9V is used for fast charging, but could that 9V be sent to my phone? Do phones have a safeguard for this? The USB standard allows for up to 20V. That's a lot when expecting only 5V. Some "dumb" devices are powered directly off of USB, like cheap LEDs and fans that have no IC. Surely they would blow upon 20V!
I'm guessing there is data exchanged between the power source and the peripheral, ultimately telling the power source whether or not it's okay to provide more than 5V. Some USB charging cables don't have data pins though, which can allow for faster charging. In this case, it seems that not having data pins would be a restriction. Maybe the power source would have to default to 5V?. Unfortunately I cannot find an explicit protocol/explanation of how the different potentials are managed.