Apple’s 140W charger that ships with the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses GaN technology that enables higher wattages, complex internal designs and smaller footprints.
- Apple’s 140W USB-C charger is in the 16-inch MacBook Pro box
- It can also be purchased standalone for $99 from Apple.com
- It uses gallium nitride, or GaN, and has a complex internal design
Take a peek inside the Apple 140W charger
As evidenced by a teardown video from ChargerLab that we included above, a teardown analysis of the Apple 140W charger reveals tightly packed components and complex design. The biggest takeaway is that this charger uses gallium nitride, or GaN, to achieve its small size despite high wattage. Yup, this is Apple’s first official GaN charger.
Aside from having a much smaller footprint than their non-GaN counterparts, GaN-based chargers support higher voltages and dissipate less heat.
“Many people are curious about the internal design, architecture of the first PD 3.1 GaN fast charger, and what kind of brand new components are inside,” ChargerLab noted. “Today, we will test and teardown this charger to answer those questions.”
ChargerLab has identified a total of eleven components that comprise the charger.
To be clear, this isn’t a charger built using proprietary technology that only works with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Rather, it’s a USB-C charger supporting the USB Power Delivery 3.1 protocol, meaning it can be used with any USB-C device.
GaN chargers are nothing new—we ourselves have tested quite a few of them.
But as mentioned, Apple has never released a GaN charger of its own until the redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro. It’s safe to speculate, as ChargerLab did, that GaN-based power adapters could soon be mainstreamed now that Apple is beginning to throw its corporate weight behind this technology
2021 MacBook Pro: The (fast) charge situation
Apple announced its overhauled MacBook Pro line in October 2021, with a pair of notebooks provided in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes. To recharge a 100-watt-hour battery inside the 16-inch notebook, the computer ships with a new 140-watt USB-C power adapter, Apple’s most powerful wall brick yet.
Both models support a fast charge function that recharges the internal battery from zero to fifty percent in about half an hour. On both models, the fast charge feature works over the included, customized USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable but only the 14-inch MacBook Pro can also be fast-charged via its USB-C ports.
No such luck on the 16-incher though—its USB-C ports don’t support fast charging due to the newness of the USB Power Delivery 3.1 Extended Power Range (EPR) standard. Standardized in 2020, this new protocol enables power delivery via USB-C cables up to 240W (the 16-inch MacBook Pro requires power delivery at 140W).
The problem is, USB-C to USB-C cables compatible with EPR are not yet developed. That’s why Apple provides a 140W charger and a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable in the box so you can fast-charge your 16-inch MacBook Pro via MagSafe.