USB Type-C to be slimmer and reversible

Written by Edward Chester

December 4, 2013 // 3:26 p.m.

Tags: #microusb #type-c #usb #usb-30 #usb-type-c

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has outlined plans (pdf warning) for a new USB standard that will be both smaller than current standards and be reversible.

The new connector will be around the size of current USB 2.0 microUSB but will offer full USB 3.0 speeds and, like Apple's Lightning connector, eliminate the annoyance of current standards that require you to get the socket the right way round.

The current USB 3.0 microUSB standard is a clunky affair that essentially uses two connectors in a single package.

Unlike standards such as microUSB and miniUSB, the new connection aims to completely replace the current full-size connector.

"The new USB Type-C connector, built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, is being developed to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB." says the group's press release.

The summary specifications of the new connector are:
  • An entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs.
  • New smaller size – similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B.
  • Usability enhancements – users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation / cable direction, making it easier to plug in.
  • The Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging.
  • Scalability – the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance.

The connector specification is expected to be ratified by the middle of 2014, with an industry review during the first quarter of 2014.

Looking forward to a smaller, easier to use USB connection? We certainly are.

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