USB connectors Type – C
USB Over Time
For who interested in the history of USB, there have been no less than eight different connector types up to this point. Part of the reason for this proliferation of plugs is that the host and client have used different designs at their respective ends, as the cables are not reversible. Also to maintain a degree of compatibility many of the connectors are variations on their predecessors. So, for example, USB 2.0 Micro-B is a design refinement of USB 2.0 Mini-B, while USB 3.0 Micro-B adds extra pin to the USB 2.0 Micro-B design. The problem with adding extra bit in this fashion is that it is not fully inclusive, because try as you might, you cannot put a USB 3.0 Micro-B 3.0 cable into a USB 2.0 Micro-B receptacle Thus, you cannot realistically keep simply adding extra elements to a connector.
Therefore, those behind USB decided they would bite the bullet and introduce a totally new connector that would hopefully banish all the others once it become established. It is to be known as USB 3.0 connectors. What USB 3.1 Type-C, but it is critical to understand that it was developed in isolation to USB 3.1 standard, which can operate on the exiting USB 3.0 connectors. What USB Type-C actually does is provide the optimal situation to use UB 3.1; it is also very easy to differentiate the sockets, as they are not just coloured differently but physically incompatible.
Let’s look as the new features of USB Type-C and see how they bring USB fully into the 21st century.
The first thing that you notice about USB Type-C is that the host and client connectors are identical, because the cable is fully reversible. That will make the cable easier and theoretically cheaper to make, and cabling very straightforward.
In addition to being the seam at both ends, the connector is also symmetrical and reversible in orientation, so you can force it in the ‘wrong’ way up! These point alone offer a major improvement over USB in general, but specifically Micro-B on phones – as it is currently easy to push a Micro-B cable into its receptacle on a Smartphone inverted, and damage either the cable or the phone. Once they are damaged, a perfectly good phone in other respects cannot be charged up, until it has a Qi pad power capability.
Type-C fixes this with 20 V and 5A power provision, allowing up to 100 watt of power over the new connector. That is enough power from most laptop and the foreseeable future requirements of phones and tablets. The most feature of USB Type-C is one that it automatically inherits USBB 3.1 - namely, 10Gbps of bandwidth. That is enough to support an external drive at more than a gigabyte per second, or display a 4K image on a monitor though DisplayPort, or handle multiple gigabit LAN connector.
What is quiet clear from the Type-C specification is that no adapter will be allowed to include a USB Type-C receptacle, only the male connector.
USB 1.x and 2.0 used just four wires, in that it had 5V power, two data lines and a ground line. This expanded to five wires under the mini and macro layouts. USB 3.0 increased that by another five to ten wires by adding four more data lines and another ground line. And, now USB Type-C (USB 3.1) adds a further five wires, to make 15, plus a braid over 24 pins, so that it can toggle cable orientation and handle power management.
Type-C might annoy some at first, but once we are got through that awkward phase, it could be connector unification that all PC and mobile device owner will truly appreciate.