Samsung, Mi, LG, Google and Apple have all launched new mobile computers recently, and although the devices are quite different, they have something in common in high-end devices: all include USB Type-C ports. So what exactly is USB Type-C? Let’s take a look and see what is actually is and how it works.
You all must be very familiar with USB commonly which we see in pen drives, HDMI cables and much more. If you have a laptop, you have probably used a USB flash drive, or maybe you have connected a printer with USB or a external drive with a USB. If you have an Android device then you must be familiar with USB as the way to charge your phone and transfer data between your device and your computer. USB has been around for a long time. It first gained mainstream popularity when Microsoft included support for it in Windows 98, and Apple used it to remove the keyboard and mouse ports on its iMac. That was almost 20 years ago, and things have changed quite a bit since then.
The USB 3.0 standard was published in 2008 and allows for theoretical speeds of around 5.0 Gbit/s.
Recently you may have noticed USB ports with a blue interior, these are USB 3.0 ports. The USB 3.0 standard was published in 2008 and allows for theoretical speeds of around 5.0 Gbit/s. However the actual achievable speed is slightly slower, but you can still get around 400 Megabytes per second.
However this has changed with USB 3.1. As you would expect USB 3.1 is faster than USB 3.0, fast enough that it can be used to drive 4K displays. That means that laptops (and PCs of the future) won’t necessarily need HDMI or VGA sockets. But the big difference that consumers will see is the use of a new plug. The A and B type connectors are history. The new connector is called USB Type-C. So what does a Type-C connector give us that Type-A and B connectors can’t?
First of all the Type-C connector are small in size. That means no more micro or mini ports are required. No more confusion about which cable you will need for your use as all are the same. The Type-C connector is small enough for a smart phone but powerful enough for a PC or even a server as you must have seen apple using it as the only port in its latest mackbooks.
Second the Type-C connector is rated at up to 100W, which means it can be used to charge not only Smartphone’s, it can be used to power lots of other devices that would previously have needed a separate power supply like laptops. In future we may be using type c in much more devices which at present are using separate power adapters.
Thirdly the Type-C cable is reversible. That means that it doesn’t matter which way you connect it. No more trying to plug in a cable, finding you got it the wrong way around, trying again and then realizing that you had it right the first time!(Within a decade we will se only 2020’s kid will remember this)
Finally, USB Type-C cables will use the new small connector at both ends, no more Type-A at one end, and Type-B at the other. This means you can truly plug in the cable whichever way you want, and it will just work!
Adam Rodriguez, a Product Manager at Google has stated that, “We at Google are very committed to the USB Type-C spec. Expect to see this in a lot of Chromebooks and Android phones in the near future.” It is worth noting is that the Type-C connector can be built into devices that don’t yet support USB 3.1. For example, this means that low- and mid-range phones can adopt the new connector without actually having to support the new USB standard. That is good for making the transition easier, however it could cause some confusion when the port doesn’t run as fast as expected it what matters is that the device supports the speed or not.