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Three Things You Should Know About USB-C

These three things are the shape, speed and power.

This is an archive article published 18.11.2016. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard developed in the mid-1990s to standardize the connection between computers and peripherals, both to communicate and supply electrical power. Its real growth was recorded when it was accepted as a standard forbattery charging, especially for mobile electronic devices. This effort was aimed at the reduction of electronic waste by eliminating the need for a separate charger for each electronic device.
There are four connector sizes – standard, mini and micro, type “A’, “B” and “AB” connectors and corresponding receptacles, and now the new C-type andfive data transfer modes:

Rev.SpeedNameBefore
11.5 MbpsLow Speed (LS) Half Duplex
1.1 12 MbpsFull Speed (FS) Half Duplex
2.0 480 MbpsHigh Speed (HS) Half Duplex
3.1 Gen 1 5 GbpsSuperSpeed USB (SS) Full DuplexUSB 3.0
3.1 Gen 2 10 GbpsSuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps Full DuplexSuperSpeed+
USB Type-C is reversible with symmetrical 24 pins so the connector will attach to the receptacle on the first try. The additional pins permit support of data protocols such as DisplayPort 1.3, PCI Express, and Base-t Ethernet using Type C cables.

USB Type-C’s connectorsare of a smaller size (similar to Micro-USB) and are more resilient, withstanding 10,000 insertion/removal cycles. Cables should support a USB power Delivery mode of up to 100 W.

New USB technology specifications provide solutions that promise to reduce errors, provide unprecedented inter-operability, simplify connecting USB devices usingreversible and symmetricalconnectors and cables, and provide much faster charging.

These improvements are specified in the USB Type-C™ and USB Power Delivery (PD) specifications that are compatible with USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 specifications, cables and connectors in various ways. Ultimately, the best USB solution will be the Type-C connector running at USB 3.1 data rates (10Gbps) with USB power delivery at up to 100 watts.
Connectors:

Standard Type-A, Type B and Micro A,B,AB connectors are the current USB-IF standards, but they have their limitations:

• They use large connectors that prevent slim industrial designs (plug height: A = 4.5 mm; B = 10.4 mm).
• They require a fixed-plug orientation and a fixed-cable direction.
• They carry only USB signals and VBUS (= 5 V only).
• Power delivery implementation is complicated, expensive, and limited to 7,5 W (The USB-BC 1.2 (Battery Charging) specification is for 5V @ up to 1,5A = 7,5W).

The USB Type-C specification is the new USB-IF standard that solves these problems and provides the following advantages:

• Slim industrial design with a 2.4-mm plug height.
• Reversible plug orientation and cable direction.
• Transport of both USB signals and alternate mode signals, such as PCIe or DisplayPort signals, on the same connector. Can carry ultra-HD 4K video and audio signals
• Easy implementation of low-cost power delivery up to 100 W.

USB Type-C™ offers one new reversible connector to fit nearly every purpose. USB Type-C (USB-C™) is not the same as USB 3.1; USB-C is a connector standard. A USB-C cable could have USB 2.0, USB 3.1, and may or may not include charging capability of up to 100W, which is defined in the USB-Power Delivery standard.

Power Delivery

USB-PD provides directional control in powering devices and power level management. USB-PD is compatible with existing USB 2.0 and USB 3.0/3.1, coexists with existing USB On-the-Go and battery charging set-ups, and can sense and limit power delivery on cables to deliver higher voltages only via USB-PD compliant cabling. Devices that comply with the USB-PD standard can also switch the source of power delivery without changing the cable’s direction. And one thing to remember: If you see a USB-C connector with a bolt sign – it is the Intel’s protocol Thunderbolt 3 that is able to carry even 40Gbps, but it will not be fully interoperable with USB standards.

And the really last one: In general,if you see a USB-C connector or a cable with these connectors, it does not automatically mean that they are able to carry 10Gbps or 100W. Even today it is more likely that they are not.Always read the specifications of these components carefully.

In case of interest, please contact us at sales@soselectronic.com.

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