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USB Group finalises reversible Type C design

USB Group finalises reversible Type C design

The USB Type C connector features a reversible design, but lacks mechanical compatibility with existing connector types.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that its smart reversible connector design is now ready for production, allowing manufacturers to begin adoption of the standard.

The design of the USB connector is recognisable to all, and enjoys the position of de facto standard for peripheral connectivity. It's not without its flaws, however - chief among these being that it connects only one way, something that anyone who has tried to plug in a USB cable round the back of a machine by feel will have had cause to curse. The USB Type C connector, by contrast, is mirrored: it can be plugged in either way up and still operate.

Roughly the same size as a USB 2.0 Micro-B connector, the Type C connector provides full compatibility with the latest USB 3.1 standard. That means 10Gb/s throughput on supported devices, power delivery up to 100W - making charging a laptop through a USB port feasible for the first time - and the promise of boosted electromagnetic and radiofrequency interference mitigation.

There's a catch, of course: USB Type C is mechanically incompatible with previous-generation USB connectors. The solution: passive adapters that will allow existing USB cables to be converted to the new standard at a very low cost.

'Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,' claimed Promoter Group chair and Intel staffer Brad Saunders at the announcement. 'Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT [Internet of Things] 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 standardise the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution.'

Companies signed up to produce USB Type C products include Intel, HP, Microsoft, Renesas, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments. None, however, have currently provided a launch date for their respective implementations.

10 Comments

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Flibblebot 13th August 2014, 13:08 Quote
It's about time. Why is it that you always plug a USB connector in the wrong way round on the first attempt - no matter how careful you are?
Umbra 13th August 2014, 13:10 Quote
So after the recent USB issues highlighted by Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell, could some form of security be built into this new USB connection or because the issue is with the firmware in each USB memory stick it has to be on the stick side?
Cerberus90 13th August 2014, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
It's about time. Why is it that you always plug a USB connector in the wrong way round on the first attempt - no matter how careful you are?

Even when you look at the thing your plugging in, and think, right it needs to go that way, you still end up the wrong way round! :D
jrs77 13th August 2014, 13:22 Quote
It'll take another 5 years before we see these new USB-plugs being available. So I don't really hold my breath atm.
Xir 13th August 2014, 14:22 Quote
Now that we finally have a de-facto standart for charging phones, we change the design.....grrrrrreat.
asura 13th August 2014, 21:14 Quote
Annnnnnnnd, queue the Apple lawsuit!
ArcAngeL 13th August 2014, 22:54 Quote
Now if only it could be used to transmit 200hz 4k video signal
r3loaded 14th August 2014, 09:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcAngeL
Now if only it could be used to transmit 200hz 4k video signal
You'll need at least 42Gbit/s of bandwidth for that. You're going to need either some very smart engineering or fibre-optic cable to carry that.
Quote:
I was thinking more along the lines of
https://sslimgs.xkcd.com/comics/universal_converter_box.png
iggy 14th August 2014, 11:05 Quote
That things **** all use. No 240vac support.
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