Universal Serial Bus popularly known has USB can be said to be the most successful peripheral connection. Virtually all devices use USB connections; from our phones to cameras, not forgetting our mouse and printers, just take a look around you and chances are that you have several USB connectors.
USB as we like to call it has also undergone a process of development and growth. Today we’re talking about the USB Type-C, just in case you didn’t know there is the USB Type-A and the USB Type-B and we have also seen various standards of the USB. The USB Type explains for the physical shape and wiring while the standard explains for the speed and functionality.
This was the original design for USB that has a rectangular shape. Type-A USB ports are widely found on hosts such as Laptops, Desktops, Media Players, Game Consoles, etc.
The USB Type-A chord has a male end that goes into the USB Type-A female port. It is so designed that different USB versions can use the same Type-A port, for example, an external Hard Drive with USB 3.0 can work with a USB 2.0 port.
Other devices such as keyboards, mouse, also have Type-A USB connectors.
The Type-B connector of a USB is the second end of it that goes into a device other than a host such as a phone, printer, game controller, camera, external hard drive, to mention but a few.
The port on the peripheral device is known as the Type-B female while the end that goes into the port is known as the Type-B male.
Since there are different peripheral devices that have the Type-B USB port, it is not far-fetched that the Type-B USB connector and its ports come in various shapes, sizes and names. The most popular ones include: Standard-B USB, Mini-B USB, Micro-B USB, Micro-B USB 3.0, and Standard-B USB 3.0. There are also other less popular Type-B USB connectors.
The type of USB as found in iPhones, iPads and iPods is known as Proprietary USB. Here the connector consists of a Type-A plug at one end and a proprietary design in place of a Type-B plug at the other end.
The USB Type-C is the future of USB connectors. Although already adapted by some flagships, the USB Type-C is yet to gain widespread popularity.
Measuring about 8.4mm by 2.6mm, the Type-C USB measures almost the same size as the Micro-B USB. One great feature of the Type-C USB is that it has both ends the same, allowing for reversible plugging. You’ll never have to worry about plugging your USB connector upside down with the Type-C USB.
Type-C USB supports USB 3.1 with the top speed of 10Gbps and has much high power output of up to 20V(100W) and 5A. Considering that most 15inch laptops need just 60W of power, future of laptops might just be charged the same way as we charge our tablets and phones – via USB Type-C.
Already Apple’s latest 12inch Macbook has already incorporated USB Type-C as its power port. Google Chromebook Pixel also followed suit as the second notebook to incorporate the USB Type-C as its power port.
The USB Type-C allows for bi-directional power, this means that apart from a host charging a peripheral device, a peripheral device can also charge a host when applicable. For this to be possible, the peripheral device and the cable have to support USB Power Delivery.
The Type-C USB would be compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. But in a pure USB Type-C connection, there is no room for Type-A ports and plugs. Hence, there will be compatible Type A to Type C cables. There will also be adapters to make Type C hosts and devices work with existing USB devices.
It will take a couple of years for the USB Type-C become widely popular as is the current Type-A, but when it finally does it will significantly reduce the number of wires we have lying around the house as only one cable would be needed by any device for both power and connection.
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