Information What is USB Type - C connector and why the hype ?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware and Software' started by JD666, Mar 12, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Type C.jpg

    Well, I was researching around a bit after reading about the Type - C connector for USB 3.1.

    Point to be noted is that the first time I saw this type of Connector being mentioned, it was in the Nokia N1 tablet.



    A little bit of searching around, indicates that possibly, Nokia was the first manufacturer to offer this type of Connector in the N1 tablet -

    Nokia-N1-13.jpg
    However as per their website, it is mentioned as USB 2.0 and not 3.1 which is the latest standard.

    What does a Type C USB offer?

    For starters, it offers the possibility of getting your USB insertion and ejection right on the first go. No need to fumble around with your USB ports to try and orient your USB device in the right orientation. With the old USB connector, the possibility was 50-50.

    The Type C USB connector is reversible, just like the Lightning connector for Apple. One big difference is that eventually it would be adapted to all devices and the Lightning would stay with Apple only.

    As long as you know your USB port orientation, the flat side of the cable/connector is good enough to line it up for connection.

    Type C 02.jpg

    Moving on. USB Type C also offers smaller connectors, similar to the size of the Micro USB connector on most Mobile devices. So this allows manufacturers to either a) make devices slimmer or b) pack more connectors in a given space.


    Next up, USB Type C if used in USB 3.1 mode can offer speeds upto 20 Gb per second, that's Giga Bits per second. No big shakes here, since existing connectors offer similar peformance, it's more due to the standard than the connector.

    However there are some advancements, that have allowed Apple to use this connector on their MacBook. Yep its called the MacBook now, no Air around it :D

    macbook-2015-gallery5.jpg

    This allows for a higher current rating and Voltage rating, which allows for as much as 100 Watts of power to be put thru the connector. Now this depends on the USB controllers at both ends, as to what is the power requirement. So there is an initial handshake and then the power requirement is adjusted accordingly. A mobile device might take around 2-3 Amps for charging, while a Laptop can take 5 Amps of current.

    Another change is the Voltage rating. Earlier USB was rated at 5 Volts. This allows for voltage ratings of 12 and 20 Volts.

    If you remember basic Electrical - Power = Current x Voltage.

    So a laptop could be charged with a 12V charger, putting out 5 Amps(for a power rating of 60W). Or if you have additional devices to be charged, it could go upto 20 Volts (for a power rating of 100W).

    This additional juice can be used for Tablets, Mobile phones, Printers, Monitors, Computer speakers and what not.

    Oh, and it can also be used as a Video cable for output to a display or monitor.

    So, ease of connectivity, faster speeds, higher power ratings, smaller size, more diversity. What's the hitch?

    As with any new standard of connectivity, adaptability.

    I know now of 2 main stream devices (If a 1 Lakh MacBook can be addressed as one) that support this connector. Sandisk has also brought out a Dual port USB stick that supports this connection. A number of cables are available on the market for this type of connector now.

    All in all, this is a good move, though I still wish they would've made the port square, so that you could insert it at any orientation. Opportunity lost :p

    Hope you guys learned something basic and simple about this new connector as I did during my research over it :)

    Cheers.

    Image sourced from apple.com and nokia.com

     
  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    For those interested in reading more about it, here is a press release from the USB implementation group -
     

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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    And a presentation that documents the improvements. For ease of viewing, I have taken screenshots and posted them here -

    USB 01.jpg


    The speed and power specs + connector benefits


    USB 02.jpg

    USB 03.jpg

    USB 04.jpg

    Reason why needed :)

    USB 05.jpg

    Benefits. Do remember to listen for the 'click'

    USB 06.jpg

    All data sourced from usb.org.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 12, 2015 ---
    And the presentation for more technical details -
     

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