The USB-C is fast becoming the standard for charging and transferring data. It’s currently infused in devices like the latest laptops, phones, and tablets. With time changes will be made to everything that currently uses the old lager USB connector.
What Is USB-Type-C?
USB Type-C, commonly known as simply USB-C, is a 24-pin USB connector system allowing transport of data and energy. It is distinguished by its horizontally symmetrical “reversible” connector. The USB Type-C Specification 1.0 was published by the USBImplementers Forum (USB-IF) and was finalized in August 2014.
USB-C provides plenty to like. It’s reversible, so you’ll no longer have to flip the connector around a minimum of three times looking for the correct orientation. It’s a single USB connector shape that all devices should adopt, so you won’t have to keep loads of different USB cables with different connector shapes for your various devices. And you’ll have no more massive ports taking up an unnecessary amount of room on ever-thinner devices.
What you need to Know About USB-Type-C
- USB-C has a smaller connector with a shape that’s reversible and makes it easy to plugin
- USB-C cables can take more power, as a result of this, they can be used to charge larger devices like laptops.
- They also offer a faster transfer speed than USB 3 at 10 Gbps.
- Connectors are not backward compatible, but the standards are, so adapters can be used with older devices.
The specifications for USB-C were first published in 2014, but it’s just recently that the technology has made an entry. It is not just coming up to take the place of older USB standards but is also going to replace other standards like DisplayPort and Thunderbolt.
Progress is being made to deliver a new USB audio standard; this would mean that USB-C might be a perfect replacement for the 3.5mm audio jack. USB-C is close to other new standards, which includes USB 3.1 for speed and USB power delivery for improved power delivery over USB connections.
USB-Type-C Explained – The Peripheral
Physically, the Type-C port and connector are about the same size as those of the Micro-B USB, A Type-C port measures just 8.4 by 2.6mm. This means it’s small enough to work for even the smallest peripheral devices. With Type-C, both ends of a USB cable are the same, allowing for reversible plug orientation. You also don’t need to worry about plugging it in upside down as it will function both ways.
Type-C USB also allows for bi-directional power, so apart from charging the peripheral device, when applicable, a peripheral device could also charge a host device. All this means you can do away with an array of proprietary power adapters and USB cables, and move to a single robust and tiny solution that works for all devices. Type-C USB will significantly cut down the number of wires currently needed to make devices work.
Features of USB-Type-C
USB Type-C has a new, tiny physical connector, which is the size of a micro USB connector. The USB-C connector itself can support various exciting new USB standard like USB 3.1 and USB power delivery (USB PD).
The standard USB connector you’re probably most familiar with is USB Type-A. Despite the fact that there have been changes from USB 1 to USB 2 and on to modern USB 3 devices, that connector hasn’t changed in any way. It’s still the same, and it only plugs in one way.
As devices became small and slim, huge USB ports didn’t fit in anymoreThisbrought about a lot of other connector shapes like the micro and mini connectors
The USB Type-C offers a new connector standard that’s very small. It’s so small compared to the size of an old USB Type-A plug. It is a single connector standard that every device should be able to use. It is just a single cable you will need, whether you are connecting an external hard drive to your laptop or charging your smartphone with a USB charger.
The tiny connector is small enough to fit into a very slim mobile device, even at this, it is still powerful enough to connect all the devices you want to your laptop. The cable is an all one connector which has USB Type-C connectors at both ends.
USB Type-C has so much to offer that would interest you. You want to go back and forth with the connector seeking the right way to put it because the USB Type-C is reversible. It is one that every device should take advantage of and adopt, it saves you the stress of storing different USB cables. Slimmer devices would have a more befitting shape as it doesn’t take up much space
USB Type-C ports support different protocols using “alternate modes,” which gives you the privilege of having adapters that can output HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, or other types of connections from that single USB port. Take a look at Apple’s USB-C Digital Multiport Adapter which offers an adapter that allows you to connect an HDMI, VGA, larger USB Type-A connectors, and smaller USB Type-C connector through a single port. With that, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and power ports on laptops can be streamlined into a single type of port.
USB-C, USB PD, and Power Delivery – The Specification Know-How
The USB PD specification is closely interwoven with USB Type-C. A USB 2.0 connection releases up to 2.5 watts of power which is enough to charge your phone or tablet, but that’s about it. The USB PD specification which is supported by USB-C takes the delivery power to 100 watts.
A device can either send or receive power because it goes in two directions. This power can be transferred at the same time in which the device is transferring data across the connection. With this kind of power, you could even charge a laptop, which usually requires up to about 60 watts.
Apple’s new MacBook and Google’s new Chromebook Pixel both make use of their USB-C ports as their charging ports. USB-C could be the end of the previous laptop charging cables, with everything charging via a standard USB connection. Your laptop could be charged from one of those portable battery packs you use to power your smartphones and other portable devices from today. If you desire, you can decide to plug your laptop into an external display that would charge your laptop, this done through the one little USB Type-C connection.
You’ll need to ensure that the devices and cables you purchase support both USB-C and USB PD. The fact that a device or cable supports USB-C doesn’t mean it also supports USB PD.
USB-C, USB 3.1, and Transfer Rates – Moving and Transferring Data Speed
USB 3.1 is a new USB standard. The bandwidth for USB3’S is 5 Gbps, while that of USB 3.1’s is 10 Gbps. You can see that’s double the bandwidth, which is as fast as a first-generation Thunderbolt connector.
USB Type-C and USB 3.1 are not the same. The USB Type-C is just a connector shape, and the underlying technology could just be either a USB 2 or USB 3.0. Nokia’s N1 Android tablet makes use of a USB Type-C connector, but underneath it’s all USB 2.0—not even USB 3.0. Seeing how they are closely related, when buying devices, you’ll just need to pay close attention to the details and ensure you’re buying devices (and cables) that support USB 3.1.
Convertibility and Compatibility
Though the physical USB-C connector isn’t backward compatible, the underlying USB standard is. It is not possible to plug older USB devices into a modern, tiny USB-C port, neither can you connect a USB-C connector into an older, larger USB port. But that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your old peripherals.
USB 3.1 is still backward-compatible with older versions of USB, all you need is a physical adapter with a USB-C connector on one end and a larger, older-style USB port on the other end. You can then insert your older devices directly into a USB Type-C port.
Truth is, many computers will have both USB Type-C ports and larger USB Type-A ports for the immediate future like Google’s Chromebook Pixel. With this, you can make a slow transition from your old devices and getting new peripherals with USB Type-C connectors. Even if you get a computer with only USB Type-C ports, like Apple’s new MacBook, adapters and hubs will help you fill the vacuum.
USB Type-C is an acceptable upgrade, which is making waves on the newer MacBooks and some mobile devices, but it’s not an Appleor mobile-only technology. As time goes on, USB-C will gain more ground and be on more devices. It is possible that USB-C may replace the Lightning connector on Apple’s iPhones and iPads someday. Lightning doesn’t really have many advantages over USB Type-C. Think about possible of both Android-phone users and iPhone users, making use of the same cable.
USB-Type-C Port Support
USB-C supports sending simultaneous video signals and power streams, which offers an enormous amount of flexibility in terms of what you’re able to do. This means that you can connect to and power a native DisplayPort, MHL, or HDMI device, or connect to almost anything else assuming you have the proper adapter and cables.
(See the next section for more on this.) The USB Implementers Forum also recently announced that it’s updating the USB-C spec to include audio, which means the headphone jack could be heading the way of the dodo on computers just as it already is on the Apple iPhone 7.