Tuesday, August 12th 2014

USB Type-C Connector Ready for Production

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced the completion of the USB Type-C specification that defines the next generation USB connector. The USB Type-C specification establishes a new cable and connector scheme tailored to fit mobile device product designs, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets. With this release, the specification has been transferred to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) for ongoing management and the establishment of a compliance and certification program. The specification is available for download from the USB-IF website www.usb.org.

"Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well," said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. "Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution."

The USB Type-C specification defines the physical USB Type-C cable and connector form factor along with the functional requirements for detecting and managing USB connections over an extensible wiring architecture. This new cable and connector supports USB performance at SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) and USB Power Delivery up to 100 W.

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector include:
  • Entirely new design
  • Tailored for emerging product designs
    Robust enough for laptops and tablets; slim enough for mobile phones
    Similar to size of USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Usability enhancements
  • Reversible plug orientation and cable direction
  • Supports scalable power charging
  • Future scalability
  • Designed to support future USB performance needs
  • Mechanical specs:
  • Receptacle opening: ~8.4mm x ~2.6mm
    Durability: 10,000 cycles
    Improved EMI- and RFI-mitigation features
    Power delivery capacity: 3A for standard cables and 5A for connectors
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.); however, the USB Type-C specification defines passive new-to-existing cables and adapters to allow consumers to use the new connector with their existing products.

"USB has the luxury of consumer familiarity and trust, and as we adapt the technology for the future we are committed to ensuring the USB brand promise continues with this new USB Type-C connector and cable," said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO. "The USB-IF is working to establish certification and compliance testing so that consumers can have the same confidence in the next generation of certified USB technology."

Delivering a Single-Cable Solution to the Industry
The release of the USB Type-C specification is the final piece in developing a single-cable solution. The combination of SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps and USB Power Delivery up to 100W with the slim, user-friendly USB Type-C connector provides endless possibilities. An ideal example use case is a docking solution that features a single USB Type-C cable connection to dock and power your PC, and a hub within the dock that can connect multiple screens streaming video with additional bandwidth available for many other functions. USB is an adaptable solution that is flexible enough to fit the varied needs of consumers.

Developers interested in implementing the new USB Type-C specification have the opportunity to learn technical details at upcoming developer conferences currently being planned. Details and conference registration instructions will be posted on www.usb.org.

Supporting Quotes

"In addition to the trend of smaller and more mobile devices driving reduced connector sizes, customers expect ease of use, excellent performance, and high reliability in connectivity solutions," said Tom Bonola, HP Fellow and Chief Technologist for Business Personal Systems, HP. "HP is committed to the new USB Type-C connector as a way to deliver on all of these needs while supporting the full breadth of USB devices and providing a pathway for future innovations to create and deliver superior customer value and experience."

"This next generation of USB technology opens the door for the invention of an entirely new, super thin class of devices that consumers haven't even seen yet," said Alex Peleg, vice president, Platform Engineering Group, Intel Corporation. "The USB Type-C connector, combined with high-performance data and power, is the ideal single-cable solution for all devices now and into the future."

"Microsoft sees this new USB Type-C interface becoming the next generation industry standard for high speed wired local connectivity," said Ilan Spillinger, corporate vice president for technology and silicon in Microsoft's Devices Group. "It will offer more intuitive consumer experience by means of reversible plug orientation and cable direction designs. Further, this new USB Type-C allows for radically higher data speeds and power carrying capabilities compared to the existing methods. As one of the key industry players behind the new design, we at Microsoft believe this is an important milestone in consumer electronics ecosystem development."

"Renesas congratulates the USB 3.0 Promoter Group and USB-IF for the completion of the new USB Type-C specification," said Ichiro Tomioka, vice president, Chief of OA & ICT Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation. "As a USB Promoter Group member for the last 20 years, Renesas believes that this new specification can further expand the capabilities of the USB interface into many vertical markets, including industrial and automobile applications."

"The USB Type-C connector is a major breakthrough that combines 10 Gbps high-speed communication with charging capability scalable up to 100 W, while consolidating numerous cables into one robust, unique cable with reversible plug orientation and cable direction that significantly improves the user experience," said Joel Huloux, director, Standardization & Industry Alliances, STMicroelectronics. "The USB Type-C cable addresses future needs and, on the road or in the office, opens the door to exciting new applications in the realm of DC power distribution into buildings, video transmission, accessory support and higher communication speed."

"Numerous products will benefit from the increased performance and flexibility that the USB Type-C connector provides," said Roland Sperlich, TI Consumer and Computing Interface Product Line Manager. "The wave of USB Type-C products to come will not only offer expanded capabilities, but also simplify user experience."
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12 Comments on USB Type-C Connector Ready for Production

#1
Guitarrassdeamor
So..why not just use micro usb then? This is one thing I loathe about USB, the everything has to have a different port design. There's standard USB, micro usb, mini usb, USB b, etc. Couple that with all the proprietary connectors companies put on their devices, it just becomes a major PITA keeping up with all these cables and types. If somehow this is to help point this in the direction of USB uniformity I'm all for it.
Posted on Reply
#2
Batou1986
While advancement is always good most mobile devices have flash memory slower than USB2.0.
Posted on Reply
#3
WaroDaBeast
by: Batou1986
While advancement is always good most mobile devices have flash memory slower than USB2.0.
Let's see how that'd work out...

"Hey, most mobile devices can't even take advantage of USB 3.0 speed-wise, so let's not adopt it."

(A few years down the line) "Hey, USB 3.0 adoption has been so slow, it doesn't make sense to release devices with USB 3.0 speed."

(A couple more years afterwards) "Still so few devices sporting USB 3.0 tech? A'ight, let's keep ignoring it then."

And so on, and so forth... Quite the catch 22 situation we've got there.
Posted on Reply
#4
MikeMurphy
I'm really disappointed the new connector doesn't even leave space for an optical cable that will undoubtedly be used in the future.
Posted on Reply
#5
MikeMurphy
by: Guitarrassdeamor
So..why not just use micro usb then? This is one thing I loathe about USB, the everything has to have a different port design. There's standard USB, micro usb, mini usb, USB b, etc. Couple that with all the proprietary connectors companies put on their devices, it just becomes a major PITA keeping up with all these cables and types. If somehow this is to help point this in the direction of USB uniformity I'm all for it.
It does. It appears to be a good connector.

Too bad it can't transmit 4k at 120hz.
Posted on Reply
#6
AsRock
TPU addict
They look weak and have 10x the chance of breaking.
Posted on Reply
#7
Batou1986
by: WaroDaBeast
Let's see how that'd work out...

"Hey, most mobile devices can't even take advantage of USB 3.0 speed-wise, so let's not adopt it."

(A few years down the line) "Hey, USB 3.0 adoption has been so slow, it doesn't make sense to release devices with USB 3.0 speed."

(A couple more years afterwards) "Still so few devices sporting USB 3.0 tech? A'ight, let's keep ignoring it then."

And so on, and so forth... Quite the catch 22 situation we've got there.
If this cable provokes mobile device manufacturers to start using flash memory thats faster than a cheap USB2.0 drive i'm all for it ;)
Posted on Reply
#8
Prima.Vera
So let's just summarize, this Type-C is actually a micro-USB for USB 3.0, right?
Question is, can you plug in a USB 2.0 Micro-USB cable on it, just like normal USB 2.0 cables int USB 3.0 ports??


by: Guitarrassdeamor
So..why not just use micro usb then? ... There's standard USB, micro usb, mini usb, USB b, etc.
Just like crAPPLE with their lighting USB port crap, Sony, etc, etc.

We need 1 USB 3.0 port to rule them all!!
Posted on Reply
#9
HossHuge
by: AsRock
They look weak and have 10x the chance of breaking.
It doesn't look any weaker than a micro USB and I've never broken one of those.
by: Prima.Vera
So let's just summarize, this Type-C is actually a micro-USB for USB 3.0, right?
Wrong. It says in the article. It's an entirely new design.
Posted on Reply
#10
WaroDaBeast
by: Batou1986
If this cable provokes mobile device manufacturers to start using flash memory thats faster than a cheap USB2.0 drive i'm all for it ;)
Maybe not most, as some manufacturers enjoy lying. For instance, there are USB 3.0 flash drives with speeds well below USB 2.0 max speed. But then, if USB 3.0 wasn't so widespread on computers, we wouldn't have USB 3.0 flash drives (let alone USB 3.0 external HDDs) that can take advantage of USB 3.0 in regards to speed.

So, it's not like these cables alone are going to solve our problem (lots of devices still performing under USB 2.0 max speed), but it certainly cannot hurt. =)
Posted on Reply
#11
Diverge
Most of you are missing an important detail. It's symmetrical, and can be plugged in anyway. Anyone who uses micro usb cables know how much of a PITA they are, especially in low light or dark environments.
Posted on Reply
#12
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
the reason we dont have tiny ones in the first place everywhere is because they easily and are mechanically non durable. i havent used USB for connectiong things other than cameras and input devices in a long time :D
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