New smaller USB Type-C connector to replace Type-A and Type-B

Apr 03, 2014 by Bob Yirka report

(Phys.org) —The USB Implementation Forum has announced at the Intel Developer Forum in China, that the proposed Type-C USB connector has been approved—it will be finalized later this summer with products using the new standard out, likely before the holiday season. It is intended to replace both the Type-A and Type-B USB connector.

The USB (Type A and B) port has been with us now for a long enough time that we've all become numb to its imperfections—cords have to be plugged right side up and the right end into the right device. All that is about to change now as the new cords will have identical connectors on both ends and can be plugged in regardless of orientation.

The Implementation Forum first began considering the changeover this past December—now just four months later, they've come to a decision. The only drawback to the new connector standard appears to be a lack of backwards compatibility.

USB Type-C will be much smaller than the current standard, though not as small as the micro sized cable connectors used on many smartphones. Whether device makers will deem it small enough for phones and tablets remains to be seen. Also, there appears to be a very good chance that computer makers will retain some of the old standard ports and simply add some of the new as well, making sure consumers can use either if they so choose.

In addition to its small size (just 8.3x2.5mm) the new standard will also allow for the maximum USB 3.1 specification throughput rate of 10Gps (and still allow for higher rates in the future). Also, in another nod to user complaints, the new connectors will make an audible click when fully inserted. Certified plugs must also be able to last up to 10,000 plug/unpluggings. One small challenge for the new standard will be a renewed push by some in the industry to settle on a wireless USB standard, which could at some point make all cable USB connectors moot.

The new standard isn't likely to revolutionize the , but it will almost assuredly bring smiles to the faces of those in the future remembering the ire at having to make several attempts at simply plugging in a device with the old cable

Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?

More information: www.usb.org/

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User comments : 6

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peter_trypsteen
5 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2014
Yes, getting rid of unhandy USB connectors and replacing them with one, easy and simple to use connector is amazing.

Finally we will be rid of the savage, barbaric technology that is the current usb connectors.

Nobody wants usb superposition:
http://imgur.com/.../lLcxrwG
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2014
Yes, getting rid of unhandy USB connectors and replacing them with one, easy and simple to use connector is amazing.


The only worry is that it's too small to be reliable. Regular USB-A connector is pretty rugged, whereas the micro connectors are flimsy and feel like you could just yank the whole socket off the board or snap it if you accidentally pull on the cord the wrong way.

Things like USB bluetooth of wifi adapters fit almost entirely inside the USB-A connector, whereas with a micro size connector you would be left with a protruding dongle hanging off the side of the laptop on a thin piece of metal that surely can't take very much mechanical stress.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2014
Looks very, very flimsy. I've had problems with the weeny plugs on digital camera interface cables working loose. Bad enough for data transfers, but when you come back to find an essential charge cycle was lost at ~ 10%, you have a problem.

How will it handle the weight of its own cable ? Or the weight and size of a USB stick or widget ??

I had to get short AM/AF 'pigtails' to avoid leverage on my PC's USB sockets after incautiously leaning across case and knocking a memory stick...
nkalanaga
3 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2014
Nik: I would also question the strength and durability, but if it makes an "audible click" when properly installed, as the authors claim, it should latch into place. Whether the latch is strong enough to support the cable weight, especially if the cable is draped over the edge of a shelf or table, is another matter.
dan42day
not rated yet Apr 04, 2014
As someone who began his career wiring and troubleshooting RS232 connectors with a $250 breakout box filled with dazzling red and green LED's, I think the current USB connectors are just fine as they are. If someone is having that much trouble figuring out how to orient them, then perhaps they should move to the wilderness and master the art of creating useful tools from flakes of stone.
dougie_fresh_007
not rated yet Apr 07, 2014
and what about extensions i don't want a bunch of female to female couplers everywhere