Cover image of the article, 'A Brief History on USB Type-C'

A Brief History on USB Type-C

USB Type-C (otherwise brought down to just USB-C over the years) has over the years been referred to as the ‘cable connection of the future’ and it has been pretty apt. It’s small, nimble and can transmit data, display and power, all at the same time.

Basically, USB-C is the current industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power on a single cable. It was developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). They have overseen the development and certification of the USB standard for many years. Among the over 700 members of USB-IF are Samsung, Microsoft, Apple, Dell and Intel. Literally some of the biggest names in the industry.

The USB-IF was founded back in 1995 and just a year later came the USB Type-A connector that you might still find on desktops and laptops. The micro-USB port came after that with USB 2.0 in 2000. It long-ruled devices until 2014 when USB Type-C came and stole its thunder.

USB Type-C is the first reversible design. Beyond that, it expands upon the number of pins and capabilities of its predecessors. Despite all of this, USB Type-C is a very small connector and hence has been able to adapt to devices like smartphones quicker than normal.

Note #1: All of our newer products at AMX  support the USB-Type C industry standard.

USB-C is the one connector to rule them all. It aims to render all previous USB connectors obsolete and has so far done a fairly decent job at that. In fact, it is starting to be adopted amongst the automotive industry for in-car charging and data. Furthermore, it can also charge household appliances like electric razors.

USB-C brings with it a lot of benefits. A USB-C connecter has 24 pins compared to 9 of that on previous generations of USB 3.0. These extra pins allow for increased data, video and power. USB-C can now support up to 40GBps. Of course, that depends on external factors. This does improve 5 times upon a standard USB 3.0 port’s 5 Gbit/s and 20 times faster than USB 2.0’s 480 Mbit/s speeds. 

Note #2: While USB Type-C is backwards-compatible, if you choose to use that, then you’ll be limited to slower speeds.

One more thing to take into consideration when considering the wider implications of the USB-C port on the industry is the fact that it can also design more than just small devices like smartphones and tablets. It can also charge laptops, delivering and receiving up to 100W of power using USB-C Power Delivery.

Note #3: Some high-end phones utilise USB-PD’s support for higher voltage to charger older smartphones faster. You just need to make sure you have the right cable.

Note #4: Power Delivery 3.0, the newest standard, supports Programmable Power Supply protocol. PPS boils down to the fact that it can send varying amounts of power instead pf a constant stream. This means that lithium-ion batteries lifespan can be extended.

Remember where I talked about the one port to rule them all above? Well, USB-C supports various different modes and standards including a number of audio and video modes. The cable can thus be positioned as a replacement/successor to the famous 3.5mm headphone jack and HDMI cable.

To sum it up: USB Type-C is a new connector type for USB 3.1 but most importantly, it implements flipability.

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