Engineers’ Choice

October 13, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

We depend on our engineers for their innovative ideas. We asked them what topic, technology or trend they thought we should feature in this weeks post. Our engineers’ choice: USB Type-C connectors. Here is an inside look at the connectors that got our enigneers’ stamp of approval.

 

We all love using USB. The plug-and-play interface makes it easy to connect and charge our devices. But it can be aggravating to figure out which USB cord goes with which device, and then which end plugs in where. Forutnately, our prayers have been answered and the technology gods have given us Type-C connectors.

 

USB Type-C is a tiny connector that boasts fast speeds, more power handling capabilities and a simpler, sleeker design.

 

The smaller, slimmer USB Type-C is a single connnector that can be used on all devices. Designed to replace both full-sized USB connectors as well as micro-USB connectors, it is tailored to fit mobile devices, yet powerful enough to be used with laptops and tablets. Whether you’re connecting an external peripheral to your laptop or charging your smartphone, Type-C connectors provide one cable small enough and powerful enough to do it all.

 

The Type-C connector has a simple, reversible design that makes using USB easier than ever. Completely reversible plug orientation and cable direction eliminate the guess work and frustration of not knowing which end is up when plugging in your USB devices.

 

Made for SUPERSPEED+ USB 3.1, Type-C connectors boast lightning speeds of up to 10 Gbps. They also support a vareity of different protocols that, with an adapter, allow output of HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort and other types of technologies from a single USB port. Type-C connectors are designed to provide scalable power and performance to adapt to whatever your future needs may be.

 

Type-C connectors are also made to support  USB Power Delivery (PD). Currently, a USB 2.0 connection provides up to 2.5 Watts of power, that’s enough to charge your phone, but not your laptop. With USB PD, the power delivery is increased to up to 100 Watts, and the power is bi-directional so it can be sent or received. That means that as long as the device and cable support USB PD, you can use a Type-C connector to charge devices from one another and possibly eliminate the need for a separate laptop charging cord.

 

Though USB technology is backward compatible, Type-C connectors are not, so we will continue to see devices and cords with both Type-A and Type-C connectors. Type-C connectors have been integrated into an increasing number of devices over the past year, they are now found on Google’s Chromebook Pixel and Apple’s MacBook and in the furture they may even replace Lightning connectors on iPads and iPhones.

 

For more information on Type-C connectors and USB 3.1, check out our blog post USB 3.1 – Fasten Your Seatbelts

 

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