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It's meant to enable a new class of thinner devices

There's a new USB plug on the horizon, and this upgraded version will finally be reversible. 

According to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, the next-generation USB is called "Type-C," and development on the new connector has already begun. 

Type-C, which will be built on existing USB 3.1 specifications, will finally have a feature many have been waiting for: reversibility. 

Other plugs -- like Apple's Lightning connector -- are already reversible, allowing users to easily plug right in without trying to see if they have it upside down or not.


USB is about to get a facelift. [SOURCE: wikimedia]

Type-C is expected to be about the size of a Micro USB plug, and it's meant to enable a new class of thinner devices in the way of phones, tablets, convertibles, laptops, desktops and emerging products. 

“While USB technology is well established as the favored choice for connecting and powering devices, we recognize the need to develop a new connector to meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “The new Type-C connector will fit well with the market’s direction and affords an opportunity to lay a foundation for future versions of USB.” 

Type-C isn't compatible with existing USBs, but the USB 3.0 Promoter Group will have a specification for adapters and cables so that many existing USB chargers out there aren't immediately considered obsolete.

Type-C should be finalized in mid-2014. 

Back in August, The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced new USB 3.1 specifications that allow SuperSpeed USB to operate at speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

Source: USB



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Finally!
By Labotomizer on 12/4/2013 11:27:45 AM , Rating: 0
I will no longer have to pay attention to which way I'm plugging something in. My life is complete.

Although they may wish to be careful as I think Apple invented cables that can plug in either direction.




RE: Finally!
By Hector2 on 12/4/2013 11:32:17 AM , Rating: 4
Didn't read the story, eh ?


RE: Finally!
By Labotomizer on 12/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Finally!
By inighthawki on 12/4/2013 1:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
I wish the next standard just scraps the backwards compatibility of the plug itself and just makes it more convenient. Basically the Type C connector except for the standard type A port. For the small handful of USB3 and below devices I have, I'll buy a couple 25 cent adapters to convert the plug.


RE: Finally!
By luv2liv on 12/4/2013 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 3
please make it circular. you can just plug it in blindfolded. only then can people can truly stop complaining about "orientation." as of now, the lighting port has not really solved this orientation issue that people are having.


RE: Finally!
By Ammohunt on 12/4/2013 1:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
That would be great if USB had only 2 pins....


RE: Finally!
By Solandri on 12/4/2013 3:28:51 PM , Rating: 3
Stereo headphone/microphone cables have three conductors (left, right, ground) and go into a single circular port. In fact, so do the combination headphone/microphone cables with 5 conductors.

I suspect the argument against long circular pins is robustness. If you trip on a USB cable, you'll usually just unplug the cable. If you trip on a headphone cable, a lot of times you end up bending or breaking the pin.


RE: Finally!
By Samus on 12/4/2013 5:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
It could potentially be circular. Many 3.5mm miniplug cables have 4-5 conductors such as A/V cables. The problem is safety as it needs to be insulated.


RE: Finally!
By s_p_kay on 12/4/2013 4:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
Circular AND *Magnetic* so the magnetic ends pull the connector into proper alignment upon attempted connection. Or possibly add a robotic appendage to grasp the connector and align and insert it properly to avoid typical human error.


RE: Finally!
By inighthawki on 12/4/2013 5:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't see the dire need for something circular. If you have a magnetic connector similar to a magsafe connector, you really should not have any issues connecting it to your machine.

And honestly, if you spend a little bit of time you could probably make some homemade DIY connectors to do exactly that. You could have a small magnetic dongle constantly attached to the PC and the device and use the new connector instead of plugging it directly into the USB port each time.


RE: Finally!
By Samus on 12/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Finally!
By ritualm on 12/4/2013 6:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need rare-earth magnets for a magnetic USB plug. A tiny permanent magnet works just as well.


RE: Finally!
By inighthawki on 12/4/2013 6:58:52 PM , Rating: 4
Even without magnets, there is absolutely no need for a circular connector. I mean, don't get me wrong, but if you try to plug in a USB cord perpendicular to the connection orientation then you may have bigger problems to worry about than how easy it is to plug in.


RE: Finally!
By kattanna on 12/5/2013 10:58:02 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
please make it circular.


i immediately thought of this...

http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-introduces-rev...


RE: Finally!
By tech4tac on 12/4/2013 2:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although they may wish to be careful as I think Apple invented cables that can plug in either direction.


If you are being sarcastic in your statement, ignore my reply. But AFAIK, the first commercial available reversible USB connector was sold by Ma Yi Xuan (http://www.yankodesign.com/2011/01/25/this-usb-plu... back in January of 2011, almost 2 years before the introduction of the lightning connector (September 2012 with the release of then-new iPhone 5). Granted it was for the full size connector, but the concept was already there for USB cable connectors.


RE: Finally!
By Solandri on 12/4/2013 3:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
I really doubt Apple invented reversible connectors, but the power cable for their laptops has been reversible for about a decade.


RE: Finally!
By inighthawki on 12/4/2013 5:25:54 PM , Rating: 4
I doubt they invented black rectangles or multitouch as well, but that didn't stop them.


RE: Finally!
By ritualm on 12/5/2013 7:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
There is another way for a reversible USB connector: at the A male connector side, instead of the standard solid plastic block on one side of the rectangular housing, you have a thin strip of PCB with the requisite USB contacts on both sides.

I've got a few Elecom retractables with such a setup.


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