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Aug 16 2014

USB 3.0: Type-C Connector Ready for Production

Following a year of preparations, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group this week announced completion of the USB Type-C specification defining the next generation USB connectors. The new cable and connector design is not only meant to cut a swath through the jungle of only partly compatible solutions, but also tailored to plug into the full spectrum of mobile devices – laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

The new specification defines the physical USB Type-C cable and connector form factor as well as functional requirements for detecting and managing USB connections over an extensible wiring architecture. The Type-C connector supports SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 specification for 10 Gb/s transfer rates) and USB Power Delivery up to 100 watts. Other key characteristics include usability enhancements such as reversible plug orientation and cable direction, support for scalable power charging, and support of future performance and scalability needs.

Its main mechanical specifications are defined by a receptacle opening of approximately 8.4mm x 2.6mm, a durability of 10,000 cycles, improved EMI- and RFI-mitigation features, and a 3A power delivery capacity for standard cables respectively 5A for connectors. While the new plug and receptacle – similar in size to USB 2.0 Micro-B – will not directly mate with existing USB plugs and receptacles (Type-A, Type-B, Micro-B, etc.), the Type-C specification defines passive new-to-existing adapters that ensures consumers can keep working with their existing products.

The release of the USB Type-C specification is the final piece in developing a single-cable solution answering a globally expressed cross-industry demand for a „long-lasting, robust solution". With this release, generally enabling thinner and sleeker product designs especially in the field of mobile devices, the new specification has been transferred to the USB-IF for ongoing management and the establishment of a compliance and certification program.

The specification is available for download from the US B-IF website. Developers interested in implementing the Type-C specification may learn more about the details of the new standard during two developer conferences to be held this fall in Seattle and Berlin. The U.S. event is scheduled for September 16 and 1; the one for the Old Continent will take place on October 1 and 2.


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