Probably one of the biggest issues that most users encounter with USB plugs is that half of the time, you plug in the USB connector the wrong way. The upcoming type-C connector will change this though, this new USB connector will be similar in size to the current Micro-B jack but will have an orientation-independent design. The new connector will not be backward compatible but new-to-existing cables and adapters will allow users to use their existing products with new type-C based products.
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced that
the development of the next generation of USB connector has begun. The new USB Type-C
connector, built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, is being developed
to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth
path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB. This supplement to the USB
3.1 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of next year.
Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include:
An entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs
New smaller size – similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B
Usability enhancements – users will no longer need to be concerned with plug
orientation/cable direction, making it easier to plug in
The Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging
Scalability – the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance
As the new USB Type-C plug and receptacle will not directly mate with existing USB plugs
and receptacles (Type-A, Type-B, Micro-B, etc.), the Type-C specification will define passive
new-to-existing cables and adapters to allow users to use their existing products.
“While USB technology is well established as the favored 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,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman.
“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.”
“Intel is excited to see the development of the new thin Type-C connector as it will enable
an entirely new super thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to
desktops and a multitude of other more specific usage devices,” said Alex Peleg, Vice
President, Platform Engineering Group. “This new industry standards-based thin connector
delivering data, power and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”
“The new Type-C connector furthers USB's lead in addressing customer desire for more
flexibility and higher performance,” said Roland Sperlich, TI Consumer and Computing
Interface Product Line Manager. “This allows USB to increase performance and continue to
deliver ease of use to several evolving product categories for years to come.”
The USB Type-C specification is targeted for industry review during the first quarter of 2014
and a final specification is expected to be published by the middle of 2014.