Finally, USB 3.1 Will Feature Reversible Connectors

Paul Lilly

Thinner, sleeker, and always right-side up

Statistics are crap when it comes to plugging in a USB peripheral. What we mean by that is, statistically speaking, you have a 50 percent chance of choosing the correct orientation as you fumble around the back of your desktop or try to plug in a USB flash drive into your notebook in the dark. Why then, does it always seem like it takes two tries to get it right? Such an annoyance will be a thing of the past when USB 3.1 arrives with USB Type-C connectors.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced (PDF) that it was adding the Type-C connector and cable solution to the official specification. Similar to Apple's Lightning connector, the Type-C connector on USB 3.1 devices will fit either way, making it far easier to plug in.

It will also be smaller, measuring about the size of existing UBB 2.0 Micro-B connectors. By shrinking the connector, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group says it will lead to thinner and sleeker product designs.

"Intel is excited to see the development of the new thin Type-C connector as it will enable an entirely new super thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops and a multitude of other more specific usage devices," said Alex Peleg, Vice President, Platform Engineering Group. "This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power and video is the only connector one will need across all devices."

The Type-C specification is due out the middle of 2014.

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