Benson Leung

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Benson Leung
Known forUSB-C cable testing

Benson Leung is an engineer known for reviewing USB-C cables for safety and specification compliance. His reviews have cast light on the proliferation of cheap, non-compliant cables.


Leung is a senior software engineer at Google working on the ChromeOS kernel.[1] He is an upstream Linux kernel maintainer for Chrome hardware.[2]

USB cable reviews[edit]

In 2016, Leung's laptop, a Chromebook Pixel, was rendered unbootable after plugging in a non-compliant but commercially available USB-C cable. Leung determined the cause to be a miswiring in the cable.[3] Since then, Leung has reviewed USB-C cables on Amazon under the name "LaughingMan", to test for specification compliance and weed out unsafe cables. His tests have identified numerous problematic cables. Some cheap cables identified lack pull-up resistors mandated by the USB specification, potentially causing devices to draw high levels of current, causing irreversible damage to the machines they are plugged into.[4] Leung found problematic cables can break the USB port they are plugged into, or even risk causing an electrical fire.[5] Following Leung's work, some vendors fixed their designs,[1] while Amazon banned the sale of non-compliant USB-C cables altogether.[6] Supplementing his online reviews, Leung has published instructions to help end-users test their cables.[7]

Leung is regarded as an expert on USB-C implementation.[8]


  1. ^ a b Raphael, JR. "How I Use Android: Google engineer and USB-C crusader Benson Leung". Computerworld. No. 2015. IDG Communications. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Linux kernel Maintainers file". Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  3. ^ Hollister, Sean (28 Feb 2016). "Should you fear your USB cable?". CNET. Red Ventures. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  4. ^ Thomson, Iain (3 Feb 2016). "'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'". The Register. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  5. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (15 Feb 2016). "Apple to replace faulty MacBook USB-C charging cables". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  6. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (30 Mar 2016). "Amazon clamps down on dangerous, laptop-destroying USB-C cables". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  7. ^ Lawler, R (4 Nov 2015). "Google engineer takes on subpar USB Type-C cables". Engadget. Verizon Media Inc. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  8. ^ Amadeo, Ron (9 Jul 2019). "Raspberry Pi admits to faulty USB-C design on the Pi 4". Arstechnica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 3 July 2021.

External links[edit]