New USB connector standard won't matter which way you plug it

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that the development of a new USB connection specification called the "Type-C" connector has begun and is expected to be finalized by mid-2014.

According to the press release, it is revealed that the main criteria for developing the new specification has been largely related to size and design while taking into consideration future improvements related to speed and efficiency.

The important characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution are:

  • Entirely new design aimed at evolving product designs
  • Smaller size similar to microUSB 2.0
  • Reversible design so that users do not have to check before plugging in
  • Scalable power charging
  • Able to use future enhancements in USB bus performance

Alex Peleg, Vice President of Platform Engineering Group at Intel has said that, “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”

This is the first time in 17 years since the launch of the first commercially available USB products that the connector will be changed. Therefore, it's important to note that the new specification will break compatibility with all existing devices which hasn't been the case for USB specifications up until now.

The most recent USB specification, version 3.1 was launched recently to provide higher transmission rates and increased power output, it maintained backward-compatibility with USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices since the physical design of the connectors remained unchanged.

At least this will soon be a thing of the past.

Source: USB.org

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It may seem like a minor thing but not needing to be concerned about what direction the plug is in makes a difference to your life. My life is better now all my Apple devices use the new plug. You will enjoy catching up.

derekaw said,
It may seem like a minor thing but not needing to be concerned about what direction the plug is in makes a difference to your life. My life is better now all my Apple devices use the new plug. You will enjoy catching up.

If plugging something in is causing that much stress in your life, you're living wrong.

AR556 said,

If plugging something in is causing that much stress in your life, you're living wrong.


No, it's called appreciating the little things, I can highly recommend it.

derekaw said,

No, it's called appreciating the little things, I can highly recommend it.

Fair enough, but still a trivial matter regardless.

My God, talk about a first world problem..... I'm not to crazy about a transition of this magnitude. All types of office equipment have USB ports now and to throw all of that away or make people carry around adapters is stupid. These new, smaller ports will probably be just as flimsy and fragile as the current microusb, save the universal insertion, meaning an adapter+device will just add more stress/wear on a lousy port design.

If only there was a universal charging adapter that competed with apple's magnetic power connector. This and a better usb connector would improve laptops significantly.

Not an apple fanboy but to be fair, everybody was making fun of apple's lightning connector and yet again everybody following apple's lead.

trojan_market said,
Not an apple fanboy but to be fair, everybody was making fun of apple's lightning connector and yet again everybody following apple's lead.

Why would someone make fun of something that is so much better?

kayzee said,

Why would someone make fun of something that is so much better?


They said apple want to sell more connectors and peripherals and pushing proprietary type of connector as opposed to (crappy and open) microUSB that everybody else is using.

trojan_market said,

They said apple want to sell more connectors and peripherals and pushing proprietary type of connector as opposed to (crappy and open) microUSB that everybody else is using.

If Apple starts using USB now that its any direction then I will take back my criticism of there adapter choice. From Apple history though they wont and you will have to get new adapters every few years.

trojan_market said,

They said apple want to sell more connectors and peripherals and pushing proprietary type of connector as opposed to (crappy and open) microUSB that everybody else is using.

Yeah, because that's a very good parallel to this announcement.</sarcasm>

I have seen countless number of customers who rammed their USB cable into the port, like they were grudge humping it or something. Lots of busted ports. LOL

I guess I'm the only one that thinks it will be annoying transitioning to an entirely new port design... LOL

Don't get me wrong, the benefits will likely be worth it, but I do hope they don't make a habit of doing this (and an adapter is a must).

M_Lyons10 said,
I guess I'm the only one that thinks it will be annoying transitioning to an entirely new port design... LOL

Don't get me wrong, the benefits will likely be worth it, but I do hope they don't make a habit of doing this (and an adapter is a must).

Once every 17 years isn't too bad...

I can't count how many times I've attempted to insert a cable or jumpdrive into a USB port, doesn't fit, turn it around, doesn't fit, turn it back around, and it fits! It has been posited that this is proof of a parallel universe, and USB devices (read Universal) somehow break over to the other side momentarily. With this new connector, though, I guess it will have to be changed to MSB (Multiversal Serial Bus), since it will be compatible in all universes! 8-)

devHead said,
I can't count how many times I've attempted to insert a cable or jumpdrive into a USB port, doesn't fit, turn it around, doesn't fit, turn it back around, and it fits! It has been posited that this is proof of a parallel universe, and USB devices (read Universal) somehow break over to the other side momentarily. With this new connector, though, I guess it will have to be changed to MSB (Multiversal Serial Bus), since it will be compatible in all universes! 8-)

HAHA

It's UNBELIEVABLY true how many times it goes in right the THIRD time... god, if we can get past that, I'd be sooooooo happy! /craig

My Mitone battery pack puts the USB ports upside down compared to every other USB port I've used. It still confuses me at times.

That said, with this new design there will be generations of people that won't know the satisfaction of plugging in to a USB port correctly on the first try...it's the little things in life.

Torolol said,
i remember my old TV antennae plug doesn't requires me to check how to plug the connector correctly ...

Hey that's really cool thanks for sharing.

it's important to note that the new specification will break compatibility with all existing devices which hasn't been the case for USB specifications up until now.

I'm sure there will be some kind of adaptor for the USB 2.0/3.0 devices.
That said, finally! About time it had a reversible design.

Sszecret said,

I'm sure there will be some kind of adaptor for the USB 2.0/3.0 devices.
That said, finally! About time it had a reversible design.


Yeah, an adapter is a must...

It's about time. I know which way is the right way but for some reason, I always get confused when the USB port is vertical as opposed to horizontal. It's basically trial and error.

Yusuf M. said,
It's about time. I know which way is the right way but for some reason, I always get confused when the USB port is vertical as opposed to horizontal. It's basically trial and error.

You get confused because there is no standard when the port is vertical (there is for horizontal) and so every manufacturer orients it differently.

I agree, considering they've out lived almost all other connectors on computers during their lifetime, and have had major upgrades, all without changing a single thing in the computer plug end.

Poor design indeed.

p.s. is that the 550D? I was going to buy that a few months ago, but opted for the white 600T. No regrets, but if I had to build another machine soon, it'd be in that case.

It's been a long time coming. I'm hoping for something as good as (or better than) apple's lightning connector.. preferably with trip-safe magnetic attachment.

Edited by Caleo, Dec 4 2013, 10:47am :

I would assume since Intel also took part in building the lightning connector it will be pretty good. Interesting that Intel says "is the only connector one will need across all devices", I guess that means they are giving up on the lightning connector.