Reversible USB Type-C connector finally ready for production

A newly designed USB port and cable is about to make its way to upcoming PCs, Laptops and mobile devices. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced the completion of the USB Type-C spec which will allow new devices to have far slimmer USB cables and connectors. The connector will also support SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) and USB Power Delivery up to 100W.

“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.”

The design of connector is completely new and has a strong resemblance to the old USB 2.0 Micro-B connections which were far slimmer than general USB 2.0. Even better news for those of us who always struggle putting USB cables into the back of our computers is that it will have reversible plug orientation and cable direction.

“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.”

It won’t be long before devices start to show up making use of the Type-C connector, although many of us will need to make use of upcoming adapters to allow us to use the new connector with existing products.

Source: USB.org

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Steve Ballmer is $2b lighter after Los Angeles Clippers purchase comes to a close

Next Story

Surface firmware updates rolling out today to several devices

61 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

rdhw said,
100 watts of power? Through slimmer cables and slimmer connectors? How, exactly?

Increase of the voltage. It will step up for different levels of power, so the current will still remain relatively low.

Interesting, when Apple introduced their either way lightning connector it was panned here as being not relevant, comments like 'how much time does it take to work out the correct way to plug the cable in' were common, now people are saying 'yay' and 'finally'.

I just really hope that the female port on this doesnt have a thin "tongue" piece in the middle of it that can be bent or broke.

I'm no Apple fan, but man the feeling of Thunderbolt plug is nicely constructed.

It does. It's recessed pretty far, so the cable will be perfectly aligned by the housing before even coming near the "tongue". You'd probably have to jam a screwdriver or something in the port to break it, in which case you would deserve it.

cyberdrone2000 said,
It does. It's recessed pretty far, so the cable will be perfectly aligned by the housing before even coming near the "tongue". You'd probably have to jam a screwdriver or something in the port to break it, in which case you would deserve it.

Well I know I wasn't one of them. I was actually mad at Apple when they came out with that and Touch ID. I thought that kind of technology would be locked only to them because of how they like to place lawsuits on everything that similar to theirs.

AmazingRando said,
I just really hope that the female port on this doesnt have a thin "tongue" piece in the middle of it that can be bent or broke.

I'm no Apple fan, but man the feeling of Thunderbolt plug is nicely constructed.

That's what I'm worried about as well. Not trying to sing Apples praises here, because I'd like to see this implemented in MacBooks, but the lightning connector seems superior in theory and use.

FINALLLYYYYYYYYYYY. I been waiting for this for a year now!!!! Now the next phone I buy will have to have that on it cause I tired of the current micro usb for my phone, good thing I waited.

Biglo said,
FINALLLYYYYYYYYYYY. I been waiting for this for a year now!!!! Now the next phone I buy will have to have that on it cause I tired of the current micro usb for my phone, good thing I waited.

Right now... the cable you use for your phone has two connectors... a male Type-A on the host end and a Micro Type-B on the device end.

With this new connector... will both ends be Type-C ?

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
How are you tired of a connector? Are you tired of looking at it? I don't get it.

Tired of working out which way to play it in. Its an unnecessary hassle. This makes it simple and easy.

derekaw said,

Tired of working out which way to play it in. Its an unnecessary hassle. This makes it simple and easy.


Exactly! Some nights when I get home late and I'm trying to get to bed that damn thing nevers seems to be the right way lol, also it gets slack after a while. Right now if my phone is on charge and I just pick up a little too fast the charger will come out.

Michael Scrip said,

Right now... the cable you use for your phone has two connectors... a male Type-A on the host end and a Micro Type-B on the device end.

With this new connector... will both ends be Type-C ?

You'll be able to buy cables with two Type-C ends or you'll be able to buy a cable with one type A end and one type C end for backwards compatibility. Soon laptops will start shipping with both USB A and USB C plugs and once USB C plugs become common on computers you'll be able to more easily use cables with two type C plugs.

How has USB 3 taken so long and what happened to all the much faster replacements that never seem to have gotten off the ground?

This is great. But I think it's time for some Thunderbolt 2 love on the PC. Seriously though, this will make life easier for sure.

Why didn't they go with a more robust lightning connector like option for the pins? Instead they have this tiny piece of board that will undoubtedly get clogged with crap, and probably snapped off.

Neu B said,
Not the cables fault that people neglect to take care of their stuff. Some people can't have nice things.

What?

I store my USB cables in an old sticky jelly jar. They smell like grapes when they are plugged in.

Binary said,
Why didn't they go with a more robust lightning connector like option for the pins? Instead they have this tiny piece of board that will undoubtedly get clogged with crap, and probably snapped off.

Patents would be a guess

Neu B said,
Not the cables fault that people neglect to take care of their stuff. Some people can't have nice things.

My question is, if they were going idiot-proof, why didn't they go all the way with it?

I've found the USB cables to be problem from the beginning, getting bent, or just being a pain to plug in, right way or not.

Lightning cables on the other hand, well you just can't plug it in wrong, or really break anything - unless you purposefully reef on the connector when it's inserted.

Sraf said,

Patents would be a guess

That's what I was thinking, though earpiece/Ethernet jacks follow the same premise, don't see what stop them from putting the pins on the outside of the male.

Binary said,

Lightning cables on the other hand, well you just can't plug it in wrong, or really break anything - unless you purposefully reef on the connector when it's inserted.

Have a look through the Apple support forums. The amount of lightning cables which have stopped working is staggering. Not sure if it's the folks or the cables.

jasondefaoite said,

Have a look through the Apple support forums. The amount of lightning cables which have stopped working is staggering. Not sure if it's the folks or the cables.

From what I've read it seems to be fraying of the cable itself, or pin corrosion. The idea behind the connector itself seems pretty sound.

50/50 chance of getting right...
Plug it in.... Doesn't fit.... Turn it over.... Doesn't fit... Back to start and It fits

anothercookie said,
the side with the holes is usually the side that goes up

"Up" depends entirely on which way the computer manufacturers installed the port. I've seen them have it in separate directions on the same computer

Why just not make it micro USB style to match most other devices around??
I know it wouldn't be reversible but it's still SUCH a common connector these days...

Keeping the micro would mean not being able to have a reversible design and not allowing for the extra contacts needed in as little a space (A micro USB 3 connector is about 3X wider than the USB 2 version)

Besides, it wasn't that long ago that the prevailing connector was USB Mini, so the transition will likely be as "painful" as the move from mini to micro

Sraf said,

Besides, it wasn't that long ago that the prevailing connector was USB Mini, so the transition will likely be as "painful" as the move from mini to micro

True enough, but there were a lot less Sony Digital Camera's with mini-USB back then than there are Smartphones with micro-USB these days. Then again, the turnover is pretty quick on smartphones (about 2 years). I bet Apple doesn't commit to it though.

The smaller size is good news for the slim laptop/ultrabook makers. Also about as close to a dummy-proof connector as we might see anytime soon ROFL.

ir0nw0lf said,
The smaller size is good news for the slim laptop/ultrabook makers. Also about as close to a dummy-proof connector as we might see anytime soon ROFL.

Lol. I imagine we will see some more dummy-broken-connector stories soon... =) How, I dont know. But it always happens =).

Scabrat said,

Lol. I imagine we will see some more dummy-broken-connector stories soon... =) How, I dont know. But it always happens =).


I have to fix broken USB ports (usually the pins inside getting bent in) all the time. amazing to me how people can kill these things. Some of these people must be jamming their cables in really hard.

acido00 said,
Amazing news!!! now the side does not matter.

Cool.

Welcome to a world where it does not matter what way you plug your device in, Apple has been doing this for years.

Just under 2 years to be precise. Whilst you're right, propriety technology is a lock in for consumers. Sony MagicGate might have been first to market, maybe even better, but SD cards are a standard you can trust to be produced and exist outside of a single company. USB is good for consumers, not perfect, but better than propriety to a single company.

foaf said,
Just under 2 years to be precise. Whilst you're right, propriety technology is a lock in for consumers. Sony MagicGate might have been first to market, maybe even better, but SD cards are a standard you can trust to be produced and exist outside of a single company. USB is good for consumers, not perfect, but better than propriety to a single company.

I have been enjoying my either way propriety Apple cables for years, thats years before non Apple people get theirs. I am happy with my Apple 'lock in'.

I expect that the Apple lightning cable was the impetus for this new USB cable.

Edited by derekaw, Aug 13 2014, 9:54am :

derekaw said,

I have been enjoying my either way propriety Apple cables for years, thats years before non Apple people get theirs. I am happy with my Apple 'lock in'.

I expect that the Apple lightning cable was the impetus for this new USB cable.

LOL, you quote lock in like its not true that you're locked in. Apple is essentially a company that makes lock ins. They do this by never using standards where possible and creating proprietary versions of standard products. They then make sure that these proprietary versions don't work with anything that isn't Apple produced. Once you've bought a few Apple products so that they will work together you've spent enough money that you're effectively locked in.

I can't tell you the number of times I've had a friend round and they can't charge their iphone because its not USB. I'd rather have a non-reversible connector than have to keep a lightning cable with me all the time.

derekaw said,

I have been enjoying my either way propriety Apple cables for years, thats years before non Apple people get theirs. I am happy with my Apple 'lock in'.

I expect that the Apple lightning cable was the impetus for this new USB cable.

Nerver have I had a problem connecting USB cables, even parrots can perform this action.
Last time I checked all Apple computers ship with USB ports, and not lightning connectors.

M4x1mus said,

LOL, you quote lock in like its not true that you're locked in

As far as I am concerned I am not locked in. When my family and friends come around we share cables. No one I know has to carry a lightning cable anywhere.

Sounds like someone is locked out and not locked it.

Seriously, one persons locked in is another persons idea of convenience and use of superior groundbreaking technology that has others following to catch up.