USB Type-C Connector

Finally, the USB Type-C Connector has been finalized.  YEsterday the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced the completion of the specification.

Why should you care?  Because it’s awesome.  Ok I’ll elaborate a little:

  • The plug is reversible. It can be inserted either way/direction.  Similar to how the new iPhone charging cables work (and unlike current USB connectors), the new USB connector doesn’t need to be plugged in’correctly’.  There is no top or bottom or left or right – you just shove it in the slot.
  • It’s small. It’s similar in size to the USB 2.0 Micro-B Connector.  That’s the connector you find on lots of phones out there (other than the iPhone).  The point is, it’s small enough for the ever thinner and thinner modern smart phone, and with the reversible orientation of the plug, it’s very similar is size and ease of use to the lightning plug used on iPhones.
  • It’s FAST! The new connector supports the USB 3.1 protocol which can transfer data FAST. 10 Gbps Fast. That’s TWICE as fast as the best USB 3.0 stuff out there.
  • It’s powerful! The new connector supports the USB 3.1 protocol which can not only sync data but also power devices.  According to the standard it can support power delivery up to 100W!  (That’s alot. That’s enough to power your laptop.)

Consider this blurb from the press release:

The release of the USB Type-C specification is the final piece in developing a single-cable solution. The combination of SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps and USB Power Delivery up to 100W with the slim, user-friendly USB Type-C connector provides endless possibilities. An ideal example use case is a docking solution that features a single USB Type-C cable connection to dock and power your PC, and a hub within the dock that can connect multiple screens streaming video with additional bandwidth available for many other functions. USB is an adaptable solution that is flexible enough to fit the varied needs of consumers.

Now, there is one (small and understandable) downside:

  • No backward compatibility with existing USB hardware.  The new connector is not backward compatible without converts.  So we’ll likely all be swapping USB cables / charging cables again.  The new standard, however, should serve us well for a good long while.

Unfortunately for me, I’ll likely be upgrading my phone one more time before this starts getting used in such devices.  Still – it’s about time!


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