Tuesday, December 3rd 2013

Next Generation USB Connection Definition Underway

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.
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4 Comments on Next Generation USB Connection Definition Underway

#1
lobsterrock
This better be a couple times sturdier than the current revision of microUSB. I've had three chargers that stopped working, total BS.
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#2
Jack1n
"Usability enhancements - users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation/cable direction, making it easier to plug in"

About damn time.
Posted on Reply
#3
The Von Matrices
I won't be happy if the new connector design requires expensive components and significantly increases cable costs. USB 3.0 cables are already significantly more expensive than USB 2.0 cables.

What I am disappointed with is that the type C connector will not maintaining any sort of backwards compatibility with type B connectors (without an adapter). I guess a clean break has to be made at some point, but that is a break from how USB has evolved, emphasizing backwards and forwards compatibility.
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#4
alwayssts
by: The Von Matrices
I won't be happy if the new connector design requires expensive components and significantly increases cable costs. USB 3.0 cables are already significantly more expensive than USB 2.0 cables.

What I am disappointed with is that the type C connector will not maintaining any sort of backwards compatibility with type B connectors (without an adapter). I guess a clean break has to be made at some point, but that is a break from how USB has evolved, emphasizing backwards and forwards compatibility.
I think what you're trying to say is...we don't want usb to become another lightning interface.

While the standards' acceptance and proliferation make this a lesser concern (at least eventually), the later part of your post it's difficult to say isn't only true, but certainly also likely fallout of the lightning interface.
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