This is What the Reversible USB Type-C Connector Will Look Like

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dgrmouse

I do worry that the plugs will be so shallow that they will allow lateral flex and encourage shorts or wiggling out. It's a problem I've experienced w/ similar designs on phones, and it sucks to discover on your way out the door that your phone did not in fact charge up.

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Sorian

Is it really that big of a problem that we have to design the connector again?

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LatiosXT

Well, aside from being reversible, yes. There's a reason why many cell phones haven't gone to USB 3.0, 3.0's micro port is atrocious.

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Sorian

The only reason you need a Type C on both ends is if your transferring data. When was the last time you had to transfer data from your phone to computer via USB instead of WiFi, bluetooth, using a service (Dropbox), or ejecting the micro SD card (if applicable)? In the image from the article, they are showing an artistic render of a Type C next to a Type A on a laptop.

Now, if we are talking about recharging, yes; Type C is great but still don't need the connector on the wall plug, Type A to C should work.

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LatiosXT

>When was the last time you had to transfer data from your phone to computer via USB
Yesterday.

Transferring over USB is more convenient than the methods you described because it just works out of the box. And if I'm not carrying my phone, it's plugged in.

Yes the MTP protocol is a little annoying, but I'm not in a big rush nor do I dump the entire contents of my SD card somewhere every day.

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Ninjawithagun

...so what? Apple's thunderbolt connector does not have an asymmetric connector either, and they have had it for over three years now! My iPad4 has the connector, and it plugs in either way, just like the new USB 3.1 connector. I'm not an Apple fanboy, trust me. But, this is just not that big of a deal and definitely does not deserve a whole article on the subject. Just saying...

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LatiosXT

You're confusing Thunderbolt with Lightning.

And it is fairly a big deal because being reversible alleviates the issue of needing to have to look at the plug and connector to make sure they're oriented properly before making the connection. For an interface that is often hotplugged, that's kind of a really big plus.

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bigrigross

Well considering there are minuscule amounts of devices that support lightening cables compared to the amount of USB devices out there. This is a big deal. This will completely change how devices will be made and how thin they can be. Right now, we are limited on laptop thickness because of the ports. Change over to these completely and mini display ports and we could have some very thin laptops.

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Ninjawithagun

Actually, the limiting factor is NOT I/O ports, but battery technology. The height of existing USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports is less than 5mm. The height of micro USB ports is less than 2mm. Case in point, look how thin smart phones are today, yet they only have micro USB 2.0 and 3.0 (i.e. Samsung Note 3). As for availability of the Thunderbolt connector, I agree that USB is used in a lot more products versus Thunderbolt. But that does not negate the fact that Thunderbolt is superior in every way. USB 3.1 is just now able to perform on par with Thunderbolt 1.0. Thunderbolt is also directly compatible with DisplayPort and External PCI-E. And, Thunderbolt 2.0 is out now and is capable of 20Gb/sec...double the bandwidth of USB 3.1:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USB_%26_Thunderbolt%E2%84%A2_Speed_Comparision.jpg

I will agree with you, that maybe folks should be educated using this article, but the article is only half the story. A separate article should be written about Thunderbolt 2.0...fair is fair :D

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bigrigross

Actually no, the battery is no longer a limited factor. They are now making laptops that the bottom bezel is the battery. Sure it makes for making it hard to repair, but what laptops are thin and made to come apart anymore. Also, unless you have an external storage of multiple SSD's in RAID 0, you will never need the bandwidth of a thunderbolt cable so that point is null. The only benefit I see from it is daisy chaining multiple monitors and that's it. Thunderbolt will not take off because it is prohibitively expensive. I believe last I looked, its 15 dollars per port for thunderbolt, and under a dollar for USB 3.0 so thunderbolt is worthless for most electronics. If I need to transfer data fast, Ill use a fiber connection other than a limited reach thunderbolt cable since I do not keep my storage in my office. It goes to my network closet.

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wkwilley2

"I agree that USB is used in a lot more products versus Thunderbolt. But that does not negate the fact that Thunderbolt is superior in every way."

Your logic eats itself. Thunderbolt may be superior in specs, but being able to take a USB device and plug it in to any computer/tablet/laptop etc. makes USB superior.

Thunderbolt has a 20Gpbs bandwidth? That's great. How many devices have the ability to read or write data at that speed? Few if any can even saturate the 10Gpbs that USB 3.1 offers.

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Ninjawithagun

You are not so smart and really need to do your homework before trolling:

http://www.amazon.com/Truwire-Lightning-iPhone-generation-Generation/dp/B00IWGLPMQ/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1396535643&sr=8-14&keywords=thunderbolt+to+usb+cable

Yes, Thundrbolt is directly compatible with USB. All you need is a simple cable. NUFF SAID!

And your agrument that just because bandwidth can't be used, that it's useless. Right when you say we don't or can't use something, a requirement arises that needs that bandwidth. Case in point, the Thunderbolt can support up to FOUR 4K monitors at one time. Next stupid thing you are going to say is "What's 4K?". Figures. Haters are going to hate. Regardless, you lose this round.

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bigrigross

Actually you lose because you do not know the difference between a lightening cable and thunderbolt cable. A lightening cable is just a usb cable terminated differently. A lightening cable is also a lot slower than a USB 3.0 cable because its USB 2.0 based. I think you have the technologies mixed.

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wkwilley2

It's funny, cause you linked a lightning cable.

Thunderbolt and Lightning are not the same thing.

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vrmlbasic

Why would I want a "C" port on my computers instead of an A port that I use with an A to C adapter?

This C port is going to be a waste of space on computers since it takes up resources that could go to a "bona fide" USB plug; to have 2 As and a C is to have only 2 USB ports :(

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LatiosXT

Uh, What?

C type ports are smaller, you can fit more or can use them in places where an A type won't fit. For instance, in ultrabooks. The most USB ports I've see are two, and the latest mobile chipsets can support up to 4. Using a C type connector, you can start fitting more in.

And it doesn't have to be strictly USB 3.0, which is the amazing thing about USB. You could implement a USB 2.0 connection using a C-type connector with just the USB 2.0 connectors attached.

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vrmlbasic

In the picture in the article, an A port could go where that C port is. If a computer is too small to support a Type A usb port then it is doing it wrong, plain and simple. It defeats the purpose of a small form factor if I have to lug around bulky external adapters to use the thing. These C ports are useless without an adapter for literally every USB device on the market right now. That's venturing into Thunderbolt territory :(

...why would anyone want a USB 2.0 connection in 2014+?

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LatiosXT

Uh... What?

The C-Type connector is a physical change, nothing more, nothing less. The size is comparable to the Micro-B connector and doesn't require an external adapter. Worst comes to worse, an A to C adapter will just be the same width as an A plug with a C connector on the other side.

So again, the C type connector is a physical plug spec. It's backwards compatible with the rest of the USB spec. So I don't know where you're getting it in your head that it needs external adapters and it'll become like Thunderbolt.

And why would I want USB 2.0 connections? Because I'd rather have them used. Plus the only thing that could use USB 3.0's bandwidth are external media drives and network adapters. Electrical power is a moot point, the people in charge of the USB spec a few years ago said you can supply any amount of power you want as long as it's within safety limits (plus most manufacturers are making USB 2.0 plugs that output more than 0.5A anyway).

Besides, you're missing a pretty important point: the connector is palindromic making it easy to plug in and appears to have haptic feedback of sorts so you know it's actually plugged in.

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vrmlbasic

The point is that the new C port is 100% useless with every USB device on Earth without an adapter and it blocks space on laptops/PCs for actual A ports. It's a USB port that is, on its own, useless with millions upon millions of USB devices. Effing useless, just give me an A instead of a C and let me use an adapter.

The concept art should have included C->A/A->C depictions.

We really need to get rid of USB 2.

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LatiosXT

You don't need an artist's rendering to know that all it takes to get a C type connector to an A type one is... gasp, an A to C cable! Like how there are A to B cables! Or A to Micro B cables!

USB 3.0 connects 9 pins to 9 pins. Simple as that. All you need to do is wire up pin 1 of an A type plug to pin 1 of a C type plug, rinse, lather, repeat for the other eight pins.

And if you get rid of USB 2.0, you also pretty much kill compatibility for millions upon millions of devices. Oh, and you won't have any power (USB 3.0 uses USB 2.0's pins for power). Honestly it sounds like to me you have no idea how connection design works or how USB works.

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Vano

How many wires in a plug? 5? 7? all these could be done with a 3.5 type connector (make it smaller to 3.0), that so far is more durable then any other of same size.

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LatiosXT

USB 3.0 is 9 connections minimum.

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Vano

On the left photo the hole look identical to what we have now, I don't see how it's a reversible..

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LatiosXT

Go look at Apple's Lightning cable and pretend that's the connector on the device end.

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Philippe Lemay

Interesting... but I wish you'd upload pics that were large than ant-scale. You can barely tell what the new connector looks like from these.

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wkwilley2

It's only an artist's rendering of what the cable ends and port could look like. So it's subject to change.

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Volleynova

One of the reasons USB has been so fantastic is that it is backwards compatible with USB2 and USB1, will USB3.1 and Type-C be compatible with USB 2 and USB1?

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Vano

It pretty much software wise, I'm sure of it, otherwise it wouldn't be USB at all, but for hardware there will be adapters.

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acidic

now all the macolytes will claim PCs are now "copying" crapple due to them inventing all electronics

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ddimick

I do not believe in technology religion, but in terms of a small peripheral/power connector that will surely be used in mobile devices, which doesn't care about orientation, and provides feedback when secured? Objectively, yes, this is copying.

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Innomasta

This connector better be made of stronger stuff than the previous Micro USB. I swear with Android cell phones it's either Waa I broke my screen or Waa my phone won't charge because my ignorant ass wore out the connector Waaa..

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4wsprelude

Yes My thoughts exactly. I have been with various smart phones and most of the time the charging port has gone astray. To much detach and attach and that port will turn into mush.

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AFDozerman

Typo first paragraph. "Ti" instead of "it".

Yeah, this has been a long time coming. I'm also glad to see USB is catching up with TBOLT, too. Proprietary standards like that do nothing but harm the industry.

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AFDozerman

Double post.

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AFDozerman

Triple post.

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LatiosXT

About time! And I find this less scary to work with than Apple's Lightning connector (seriously, exposed pins?)

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Peanut Fox

Lighting connector is Intel's, not Apple's.

The fruits of Light Peak.

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AEM

I lol'd.

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LatiosXT

You're thinking of Thunderbolt. Lightning is Apple's replacement to the iPod/iPhone dock connector.

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Peanut Fox

Totally right. I am.

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Carlidan

Actually he's right. I just goggled it.

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RS_Lommax

Yeah, the Lightning connector is totally exposed.