Next Generation Reversible USB-C Standard Is Finalised

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USB cable Type A Typeb B © JIANG HONGYAN Shutterstock

New USB-C connector is reversible, the same at both ends, and can be used both ways up

The standard for the next generation USB-C connector has been finalised, paving for the way for a much less fiddly connector for computer users in the future.

The new standard will be reversible and smaller than the current standard, with the USB 3.0 Promoter Group promising the design will be suitable for mobile devices while also being robust enough for laptops.

The USB Type-C standard is similar in size to the current MicroUSB connector typically used for charging devices like mobile phones and cameras, but like Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector, Type-C can be inserted either way up.

Smaller And Faster

microusbIn the past, the type-A and type-B connectors only plugged in one way up, so users invariably have to try both ways, which caused wear and tear on the connectors and sockets. The Type-C connector will therefore be much easier to use, as it is pluggable either way up.

Besides those obvious benefits, the new USB-C connector also offers a number of other advantages over the previous version. Firstly the USB-C connector can deliver up to 100W of power – making it possible to charge laptops – and secondly the new cable and connector supports a faster connection, allowing for data speed transfers of up to 10 Gbps, double what is possible at the moment.

“Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution.”

Unfortunately, the new USB Type-C plug and receptacle will not directly mate with existing USB plugs and receptacles, but the specification defines passive new-to-existing cables and adapters, to allow consumers to use the new connector with their existing products.

“USB has the luxury of consumer familiarity and trust, and as we adapt the technology for the future we are committed to ensuring the USB brand promise continues with this new USB Type-C connector and cable,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO. “The USB-IF is working to establish certification and compliance testing so that consumers can have the same confidence in the next generation of certified USB technology

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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