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Reversible USB Type-C connector revealed by Foxconn

by Mark Tyson on 4 April 2014, 10:54

Tags: USB Implementers Forum

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The Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type A and Type B connectors will be joined by a newly pictured Type-C connector to be finalised this summer and built-into devices before Xmas. The previous USB connectors looked simple in comparison to some of the old interfaces they replaced, like parallel and serial ports, but are still unnecessarily complicated in that there are two different kinds of ends and both ends need to be orientated correctly as you fumble around behind your PC, printer, scanner, external storage device or whatever.

The new USB Type-C connector will use the same connector for both in and out, computer and device, also it will have a plug that offers symmetry across its end axis so it can be inserted in either of two orientations – much like Apple's lightning cable. It is also much smaller than existing Type-A and Type-B connectors but not as small as the ever more common non-reversible micro-USB connector. The exact size of the USB Type-3 connector is 8.3 x 2.5mm and you can see the receptacle above in a render courtesy of Foxconn, in a laptop edge sitting next to a Type-A USB 3.0 connector.

In its original announcement in December, Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman said "While USB technology is well established as the favoured choice for connecting and powering devices, we recognize the need to develop a new connector to meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability". He went on to predict "The new Type-C connector will fit well with the market’s direction and affords an opportunity to lay a foundation for future versions of USB".

The new standard connector allows for the maximum USB 3.1 throughput rate of 10Gbps and possibly higher rate in the future. It can also support support scalable power charging up to 100 watts. Phys.org reports that another nice feature of the new plug will be an audible click when it is correctly inserted into a compatible device. Also certified plugs must be capable of enduring 10,000 insertions/unpluggings.



HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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“unnecessarily complicated in that there are two different kinds of ends and both ends need to be orientated correctly as you fumble around behind your PC”

Really?
THIS is what people think is complicated (let alone ‘unnecessarily complicated’)??!!
We can no longer cope with matching the right shaped block to the right shaped hole, despite it being a skill most of us learn from the Fisher Price toys we had at 6 months old… ??!! :shocked2:

Anyway, I thought this was why we also have front USB ports, where you can see what you're doing… :laugh:
Ttaskmaster
“unnecessarily complicated in that there are two different kinds of ends and both ends need to be orientated correctly as you fumble around behind your PC”

Really?
THIS is what people think is complicated (let alone ‘unnecessarily complicated’)??!!
We can no longer cope with matching the right shaped block to the right shaped hole, despite it being a skill most of us learn from the Fisher Price toys we had at 6 months old… ??!! :shocked2:

Anyway, I thought this was why we also have front USB ports, where you can see what you're doing… :laugh:
Laptops and many other equipment makers must start using this standard now! 2015 is just too far away.
I thought the biggest reason was that micro USB 3 type B was a horrid cable:

Ttaskmaster
Really?
THIS is what people think is complicated (let alone ‘unnecessarily complicated’)??!!
We can no longer cope with matching the right shaped block to the right shaped hole, despite it being a skill most of us learn from the Fisher Price toys we had at 6 months old… ??!! :shocked2:

Anyway, I thought this was why we also have front USB ports, where you can see what you're doing… :laugh:
It nearly always takes me 3 goes to connect a USB connector, although mini is easier as it has an easier visual indication of orientation. You're right, unneccessarily complicated is a stretch, but since theres no reason for it to be a fixed orientation, why make it one?
herulach
It nearly always takes me 3 goes to connect a USB connector, although mini is easier as it has an easier visual indication of orientation. You're right, unneccessarily complicated is a stretch, but since theres no reason for it to be a fixed orientation, why make it one?
Agree - it's pretty frustrating to try and fiddle around the back of machine with a tight USB plug, only to find that that the correct way was the first one you tried. And no “but you should know which way around the plug is” comments - I've got cases etc where some of the ports are effectively upside-down.

An orientation-neutral cable - and especially one that doesn't have a “right” end like current USB cables do - would remove that unnecessary frustration in one sweep.