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USB Type-C to be slimmer and reversible like Apple's Lightning connector

Will launch in mid-2014
Wed Dec 04 2013, 12:36
USB cable

THE USB IMPLEMENTORS FORUM (USB-IF) has started developing the next generation USB Type-C connector, which has a thinner, reversible design.

Expected for completion by mid 2014 along with the USB 3.1 specification, the USB Type-C connector will be about the same size as a microUSB plug. Akin to Apple's Lightning connector, the USB Type-C connector will be reversible, leaving no concerns over orientation or danger of forcing the connector into a device the wrong way round.

The USB Type-C connector and cable will also support scalable power charging and scalable 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," the USB promoters said, stating the need to develop a new connector to meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability.

"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."

USB-IF said that Intel has already shown interest in the new connector, which will run at USB 3.1 speeds when launched, as it will "enable an entirely new super thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops".

We caught up with the USB-IF group in San Francisco earlier this year when it demonstrated its superspeed USB 3.1 technology, touting almost 900MBps data transfer rates.

USB 3.1 will offer bandwidth of up to 10Gbps and will be backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices. The demonstration in San Francisco proved that these speeds have in fact been reached. In earlier tests, the USB-IF's data transfer speeds reached in excess of 900MBps. µ


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