computer usb type-c
August 14, 2014

New Reversible USB Design Finalized And Ready For Production, Development Group Confirms

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The days of having to make sure your USB connector and cable are facing the right way when you try to plug it in will soon be over, as the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced on Tuesday that the design for the new Type-C version of the standardized data transfer connections between electronic devices has been finalized.

According to BBC News, the designers of the new USB Type-C said that the cables would be small enough to work with smartphones but “robust enough for laptops and tablets.” While they will not work in the ports found on millions of current and legacy devices, the specifications allow for passive new-to-existing adapters that will allow consumers to switch to the new version of the USB cables.

“Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,” Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman, said in a statement. “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.”

The new USB connector will be comparable in size to micro USB 2.0 Type-B connectors and will feature a port size of 8.4 by 2.6mm, explained CNET’s Michelle Starr. It will also be compatible with SuperSpeed USB at 10Gbps (USB 3.1) and will also support USB Power Delivery up to 100W, with additional support for scalable power charging and future performance needs, she added.

“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.”

“With the Type-C spec finalized, it now comes down to the USB-IF to actually implement the sockets, plugs, cables, adapters, and devices,” said Sebastian Anthony of Extreme Tech. “We could begin seeing Type-C USB devices over the next few months, but considering the lack of backwards compatibility (an adapter is required), and the fact that the existing Micro-USB connector is mandated as the standard mobile phone charging connector by several governments around the world, it may take a little while for Type-C to reach critical mass.”

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group behind the development of the new USB cables and connectors included representatives from some of the largest tech companies on the planet, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Renesas, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments, said BBC News. The UK news agency compares the new reversible USB to Apple’s Lightning connector, which is also reversible and has become standard for iOS devices.

“This next generation of USB technology opens the door for the invention of an entirely new, super thin class of devices that consumers haven’t even seen yet,” said Alex Peleg, vice president, Platform Engineering Group, Intel Corporation. “The USB Type-C connector, combined with high-performance data and power, is the ideal single-cable solution for all devices now and into the future.”

“Microsoft sees this new USB Type-C interface becoming the next generation industry standard for high speed wired local connectivity. It will offer more intuitive consumer experience by means of reversible plug orientation and cable direction designs. Further, this new USB Type-C allows for radically higher data speeds and power carrying capabilities compared to the existing methods,” added Microsoft Devices Group VP for technology and silicon Ilan Spillinger. “We… believe this is an important milestone in consumer electronics ecosystem development.”

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