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USB Type-C. It's a super connector!

It's not every day that the New York Times publishes an article about a connector. But that is exactly what happened recently. What's got the world's press talking about connectors? Let's take a look...


The USB Type-C connector is coming, and it's going to be the next big thing! It is the new standard for plugs and receptacles and is designed to provide a multi-function, single cable solution for USB, power, and audio/video. Created to be small enough for the latest mobile phones, the USB Type-C connector is also robust enough for laptops and tablets which means it is the interconnect product of the future. Don't just take my word for it, click here to read what the NY Times said.


For the first time, this is a USB connector that is flippable and reversible, which means it is so much easier to make quick and easy connections, no matter which way the plug is inserted. It can be used with all of your existing USB connectors by employing an adaptor and, as you would expect, it is compatible with USB 3.0 devices.

The USB Type-C has been designed with the future firmly in mind. Already capable of delivering 10Gbps performance in both directions (making it compatible with USB 3.1), the connector is actually able to cope with twice this data rate already. It can support the next generation of ultra-high definition (UHD) televisions. It even works with the USB power delivery specification and can handle up to 5A maximum current and configurable voltages up to 20V.


So, it's a high speed connector, and a power connector, and a video connector. It's flippable and reversible (and both ends of the cable are identical). It has better EMI performance than the current USB 3.0 standard. And you can use it with your existing USB 3.0 devices - all you need is a little adaptor.

Does that sound super to you, because it sounds pretty good to me?

I understand that you are going to be seeing these on your new devices pretty soon, and we at RS Components and Allied Electronics are going to be here to help you get started. We will be working with our friends at TE Connectivity to provide you with a range of products, from adaptors to moulded cables and PCB mounted sockets. You can rely on us to be your partner in the great USB Type-C future!

TE Connectivity has a great website that tells you more about what USB Type-C is, what it does and where you will start seeing it really soon - please take a look by clicking on the logo below. Keep your eyes on the RS Components and Allied Electronics websites, where we will be introducing a whole range of products to get you connected.


And of course, the team at DesignSpark will be keeping a close eye on this one. The USB Type-C is the future, and it's here now!


Connector Geek is Dave in real life. After three decades in the industry, Dave still likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He still loves Lego too. And guitars.


[Comment was deleted]

[Comment was deleted]

July 23, 2015 09:26

Hi Erik,

I agree with you, the original USB connector is not the most user-friendly thing in the world.

The USB connector is a compromise, the "Universal" nature of the specification dictates this. It has to do lots of things - more, I think, than the Lightning connector - and in addition it has to be slim, be cheap, be lightweight and last a long time. This last point is quite a feat in itself. As a connector, it needs to work as well on the 10,000th mating cycle as it does on the first, and this type of long life is not easy to achieve.

Let's see how the USB-C performs when it arrives. I don't think we're going to have a choice - it's going to be everywhere!


July 22, 2015 09:21

Being reversible isn't the main thing a new USB connector will need to make it significantly easier to use than existing ones. The main drawback with the current family of USB plugs is that they need to be quite precisely aligned with the socket to go in. I have often found myself turning a USB A connector round because it was not going into the socket only to find that it had been the right way round to start with, it just wasn't lined up exactly enough. Even with mini-Bs, where you can see which way round they need to be, getting them lined up well enough to actually go in can be a struggle.

The Apple lightning connector scores much better than existing USB connectors in this respect and seems to have been designed with ease of insertion in mind, whereas the USB connectors primary design criterion seems to have been cheapness.

Let us hope that the designers of the new connectors have put as much thought into the basic mechanical usability of the C series as they have into the electrical and marketing aspects

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