Snippet: Next USB Connector Will Be Reversible ☇

Shared on December 4, 2013

The USB-IF/USB 3.0 Promoter Group (link is a PDF):

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced that the development of the next generation of USB connector has begun. The new USB Type-C connector, built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, is being developed to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB. This supplement to the USB 3.1 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of next year.

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include:

  • An entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs
  • New smaller size – similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Usability enhancements – users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation/cable direction, making it easier to plug in
  • The Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging
  • Scalability – the connector design will scale for 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.

This sounds Lightning Connector-esque to me. I don’t think the old connector was necessarily terrible or dated, although it’s nice to see some progress. I’m glad they’ll make adapters for the new type of connector, although I do wonder how many PCs will come with a USB 2 Type-A port, a USB 3 Type-A port, and a new Type-C port. Apple will probably wait awhile to implement it, but will do it completely.

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