Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Have you heard about the new USB-C connector? Its still fairly new but the hope is that all devices will start adopting this connector to improve the usability of USB products.
Below we have listed 5 things that you might like to know and why that micro-USB connector that was becoming a standard will no longer be used.
1. It’s not a new standard
USB-C is compatible with the latest USB 3.0 and 3.1 specifications. Its just a new connector.
2. It looks different
If you’ve ever hunted for a mini or micro USB cable so you can plug a camera or a phone into your computer, then USB-C will be a godsend. Unlike the previous Type-A and Type-B connectors (and their mini-USB and micro-USB variants), USB Type-C has a new, small and reversible plug connector, so it doesn’t take up much space and it doesn’t matter which way you plug it in. No more having three attempts to fit the cable into the connector!
3. USB-C can replace HDMI
And not just HDMI. USB-C is envisaged as a do-it-all connection, one that’s ultimately capable of replacing power jacks, HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA ports.
4. It can send power both ways
USB 3.1 supports the USB power delivery 2.0 specification. This allows a USB 3.1-specced USB-C to carry up to 100W of power, enabling host devices to power bigger devices, such as external hard disk drives and printers.
Usefully, the power direction is no longer fixed, which allows any device with power to charge/operate a device without power. So a USB-C tablet could power a USB-C laptop, or a USB-C monitor plugged into the mains could charge up a USB-C smartphone.
5. It’s the future of connectivity
When the USB standard was first established back in 1996, it was born out of the desire to make it easier to connect external devices to PCs.
In the pre-USB age, computers had PS/2 jacks for mice and keyboards, 25-pin parallel ports for printers and scanners, plus 9-pin serial interfaces for almost everything else. Where USB 1.1 delivered up to 12Mbps data speeds, the USB 3.1 spec (as used by USB-C) is capable of squirting data at up to 10Gbps. It will soon become standard issue on new gadgets.
Look out for the USB-C connector on any new smartphone, tablet or laptop that you buy in the future. And yes, you’ll need to throw out all those old cables when you upgrade.