New USB connector inbound, set to be smaller and reversible

By on December 4, 2013, 7:30 AM
usb, cable, type c, connector, plug

For the first time in 17 years, the USB connector we've all come to know and love is set to change with a new plug type proposed by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The Type-C connector will break compatibility with all past USB devices, unless an adapter is used, but it will provide a number of advantages over the existing cable.

To start with, the connector will come with an entirely new design that's reversible - similar to Apple's Lightning connector - which will finally stop the issues with not being able to insert the plug correctly the first time. Type-C will also be smaller than the current Type-A plug, similar in size to the microUSB 2.0 connector.

The Type-C connector is currently in development and is expected to be finalized by mid-2014. Brad Saunders, chairman of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, says the updated connector will "meet evolving design trends" while Intel's Alex Peleg says it will facilitate "an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops".

The new connector will go well with USB 3.1, an update to the specification that was finalized earlier this year. USB 3.1 will boost the throughput of USB to 10 Gbps, and allow power delivery of up to 100 watts thanks to new power profiles. The specification will still be backwards compatible through the use of older connectors, but its expected delivery date of late 2014 might mean we'll see Type-C connectors paired with USB 3.1 on new devices towards the end of next year.




User Comments: 11

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1 person liked this | SirGCal SirGCal said:

OMG; that's really a problem? Most cables have a mark on the 'up' side of the cable. Plus it's very easy to spin it around to get it in properly. It's not rocket science.

It sounds like over-engineering a non-problem really. We've all done it but the most of us know to rotate the wire 180 degrees and attempt insert again. It's not a huge deal worth re-inventing the plug.

Plus I see people losing said adapter to fit these wires into their countless existing USB ports... and how long would we have to wait for Laptops to integrate them... etc. Just for a reversible wire...

Seventh Reign Seventh Reign said:

OMG; that's really a problem? Most cables have a mark on the 'up' side of the cable. Plus it's very easy to spin it around to get it in properly. It's not rocket science.

It sounds like over-engineering a non-problem really. We've all done it but the most of us know to rotate the wire 180 degrees and attempt insert again. It's not a huge deal worth re-inventing the plug.

---- Try letting your 80 year old grandmother plug a USB cable in backwards and have her actually INSERT the cable the wrong way, and say that. Yes it is a huge problem.

Plus I see people losing said adapter to fit these wires into their countless existing USB ports... and how long would we have to wait for Laptops to integrate them... etc. Just for a reversible wire..

New Laptops are released every 4-6 months. We wouldnt have to wait long at all. Most likely the Laptops would be in development BEFORE the new cables were even actually released. They would be released at the same time.

.

duncan_1115 duncan_1115 said:

Sounds like a move just to make something different so those people who all want the latest and greatest tech will run out and buy new devices with this new "USB" connectors, even though their current generation of tech will last another 7yrs (that's till 2020) and it will.

So yes I think the differences are so small that it is just a marketing scheme to sell more tech devices that may not be moving as quick as the "Industry" would like. It is an industry move rather than just B.S. as in Brad Saunders 3.0 promoters group move.

Adaptors connecting the new gen to current or old gen showing that the current or old gen of technology can do the same thing... ??? I mean can we afford to keep doing this, using up metal just to sell the same things to people who don't really need things like this. Didn't China or Japan say a couple years ago that they were running out of "Smart Metal" or what ever they call it that is mostly found in their oceans. The same metals used in our computers and Smartphones etc. devices.

I think it is just an industry move geared to the tech hungry people who want the latest tech out there all the time... that's all. We all have our Smartphones and Laptops and Desk Tops, the world market is only so big, so shuffle the deck to keep people buying. :|

Guest said:

This can get confusing, I for one was totally confused when I tried to plug my USB handle bars in. It just would not fit, I tried it first time, no joy, flipped it 90 degrees, and it still wouldn't work, from there I tried an additional 180 degrees of turnage, still would not fit. I am glad they have solved this. I had to return my handle bars in the end and this would have saved a lot of hassle. 3.1 here we come!!!

Guest said:

Dont make the connector smaller please

I already feel like my galaxy s4 is gonna break if I take it from the micro usb plug when its plugged

Too much force on a small surface

MilwaukeeMike said:

Dont make the connector smaller please

I already feel like my galaxy s4 is gonna break if I take it from the micro usb plug when its plugged

Too much force on a small surface

They should make it magnetically connect, like some microsoft wireless mouse charging wires I've seen. Just touch the wire to the phone and it snaps in, you can tug it off easily without worry about breaking anything. They can put the magnet in the wire so it doesn't add weight to the phone even.

Chuck Cortes Chuck Cortes said:

This is amazing, a few people don't have a problem trying to get a USB plug in and all of a sudden everyone else is just a crybaby. Why is it that when Apple changes their port and plug they are seen as innovators but everyone else is just looking to make more money?

Its not rocket science to turn a USB plug around or even look at the plug before you put it in. But not everyone looks before "inserting" and sometimes you can't see what direction the port is in when its in the back of the PC and with a bunch of wires back there its not always as simple as turning it 180 degrees without getting all tangled up. Not everyone wants to constantly pull their PC forward just to plug in a USB plug.

As for making it smaller, why not? We already have smaller plugs for phones. Smaller ports on a PC means more ports in the same space. I'm all for that. My only issue is that the only feature, besides being reversible, is more power which would eliminate the need for power plugs on external drives but nothing more useful like being able to display video like thunderbolt and lightning do for Apple. Maybe even being able to daisy chain.

2 people like this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

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hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I like what I'm hearing.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

I agree. just make them faster.

Dont make the connector smaller please

I already feel like my galaxy s4 is gonna break if I take it from the micro usb plug when its plugged

Too much force on a small surface

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm am absolutely positive this new design will not replace the existing ports overnight. They will continue to hold backward compatibility for older devices for many years to come. Like all new technology, they will start out with only a couple of ports per machine in the beginning.

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