Other Gadgets

Universal USB plug on its way

DPA Berlin | Updated on August 27, 2014

The USB Implementers Forum has come up with the specifications for a new USB 3.1 standards, meaning the day will soon be here when there’s a new universal port where it doesn’t matter which side faces upwards or which end of the cable is used.

At 8.4 by 2.6 millimetres, the new plug is similar to the size of a Micro USB port, meaning Type C ports can easily be built into smartphones. However, it’s not clear when Type C ports will first hit markets.

The move should slowly phase out the mix of current ports, a mixture of Type A, Type B and Micro B. At first, Type C will deliver the old speeds of USB 2.0 (up to 480 megabytes per second) and 3.0 (up to 5 gigabytes per second). But, in the future, it will support even faster speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second.

At the same time, the USB 3.1 standard will be capable of higher and more variable energy loads (10 to 100 watts) and intensities (up to 3 amperes for cables and 5 amperes for ports) when used to power or recharge devices with a Type C cable. That compares with the USB 3.0 standard, which can only handle energy flows of 900 milliamperes, or USB 2.0, which can only handle 500 milliamperes.

Because of its new form, the new cable won’t work with older ports.

But there will be adapters available to allow retrofitting.

Published on August 27, 2014

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