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Design for next generation reversible USB 3.1 cable is revealed

Works both ways
Fri Apr 04 2014, 15:12

AS WE REPORTED last year, a reversible USB 3.1 cable is on the way, and the design was revealed for the first time this week.

After years of computer users fumbling around to connect peripherals before realising they are holding the cable upside down, the new Type-C USB 3.1 cable designed to replace both full-sized USB and microUSB cables will work both ways.

Reversible USB 3.1 connector

The new USB cable, which was proposed in 2012 and is capable of scalable power charging, is about the size of the present microUSB connection, and according to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group is futureproofed to scale for future performance.

The approximately six billion devices that presently use USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables will be served by a standard for conversion adapters that is yet to be announced.

The images that first appeared at The Verge show a connector not dissimilar to Apple's Lightning Port, however this new diminutive USB 3.1 Type-C cable will offer power up to 100W and data transfers of up to 10Gbps, doubling the USB 3.0 top speed of 5Gbps and far eclipsing the 12Mbps speed of USB 1.0.

When the initial announcement was made in December, Brad Saunders of Intel, chairman of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group said, "While USB technology is well established as the favoured choice for connecting and powering devices, we recognise the need to develop a new connector to meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability."

Finalisation of the USB 3.1 design should take place in July, but it will take years for the previous USB port designs to fall completely out of use, which means we are destined to use USB adapters for some time to come. µ


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