What’s USB-C? An Explainer

 

 

usb type c.png

With many new Mac and Windows laptops featuring the interface, it isclearthat the USB-Cconnector is here to stay. Here’s why that is a good thing. Get a lot more information about usb type c

 

What IsUSB-C?

USB-Cistheemerging industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power. TheUSB-CconnectorwasdevelopedbytheUSBImplementersForum,thegroupofcompaniesthat hasdeveloped,certified,andshepherdedtheUSBstandard.Itcountsmorethan700companiesinitsmembership,includingApple,Dell,HP,Intel,Microsoft,andSamsung.Thisisimportant,becauseit ispartof whyUSB-Chasbeen soreadilyacceptedbyPCmanufacturers. Contrast this with the earlier Apple-promoted (and developed) LightningandMagSafeconnectors,whichhadlimitedacceptancebeyondAppleproducts,and,due toUSB-C, are soon to be completely obsolete.

 

IsItLikeMicro?

TheUSB-CconnectorlookssimilartoamicroUSBconnectoratfirstglance,thoughit’s more oval-shaped and slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: LikeLightning and MagSafe,theUSB-Cconnectorhasnoupordownorientation.Lineuptheconnectorproperly,andyoudo nothavetoflipittoplugitin.Thecablesalsohavethesameconnectoronbothends,soyoudon’t have to figure out which end goes where, which hasn’t been the case with all the USB cables we’vebeenusingforthepast20years.

 

USB-C and USB3.1

The default protocol withthenewUSB-CconnectorisUSB3.1,which,at10Gbps,istheoreticallytwiceasfastasUSB3.0.But aside from on desk tops,it ismuchmorecommontoseeUSB3.1portswithUSB-Cconnectors.

 

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has defined the USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard as meeting the same interface and data signaling rates as USB 3.0. So when you seen USB 3.1 Gen 1, it basically works at the same 5Gbps speeds as USB 3.0.

 

Thunderbolt3

Perhaps themostusefulprotocolUSB-CsupportsisThunderbolt3.Thisaddsmajornewfeatures,such asabilitytoreducedpowerconsumption,andthe40Gbpsbandwidth,

 

AdaptersandCables

Butbecause of the new style of port,adapters or cableswith both of theplugs that were requiredarerequiredshouldyou want to connect any thing that doesn’thave the USB-Cplug.Anewlaptopwillcomewiththese,inothercasesyoumighthavetopurchasethem separately. Apple,forinstance,sellsvariousUSB cables and adapters for connecting to other technologiesincludingLightning ($25fora1-metercable) or Ethernet ($34.95foranadapter). You can also find a variety of these for PC as well in caseyoubrowseonlineretailers.Someevensupportolderormoreesotericprotocols,toensureadeviceyou’vefromyearsagowillworkonthe currenthardware: ItwaseasytofindUSB-Câ??toâ??DVIadapters,for example,butwealsocameacrossonethatsplittotwoRS-232serialconnections.

 

Thegoodnews,though,isthatifyouinvestinafewnormalUSB-Ccables (theyrangeinpricefrom$10to$30),they’re going toworkwithanythingandeverythingthatsupportsUSB-C.

 

DockingProcedures

HaveoneUSB-Cport? Don’tfret,asthereare nowmultipleUSB-both from PC manufacturers like HP and Dell, C docking solutions available,andthird-partyaccessorymakerslikeBelkin,Caldigit,andOWC. These docks can recharge your laptop, give you access to extra ports including Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0, and VGA, and add support for multiple monitors.

 

DoYouNeedUSB-C?

Thepresence (orabsence) ofaUSB-CportisincreasinglybecomingaconsiderationwhenbuyingaPC.In the eventyou buy an ultrathin system,such astheHP Spectre x360 13, the ZenBook 3, or the new MacBook Pro-w023dx,it’llhaveaUSB-Cport,whichwillcatapultyouintotheecosystem automatically. Ifyou aremore of a lover of desktops,you’realmostcertaintofindtheportsthere,too,particularlyonhigh-end and gamingdesktops.ButifsupportforUSB-Cfromperipheralmanufacturersislightoverallatthemomentthatthe floodgates were opened by Apple’s,it’sonlyamatteroftimeuntildevicesthatuseitare everywhere. Inseveral years, USB ports using the old Type-Astyle connector will likelybemuchhardertofindâ??and who’ll want to put up with their sluggish speeds at that point ,anyway?

 

Evenif you don’tneedUSB-Cnowâ??and since even power users probably do nothavemuchhardwarethatcanfullytaskit,especiallyifThunderbolt3isinvolvedâ??youwillbeforelong.We’reonlyscratchingthesurfaceofwhatUSB-Ccando,butonethingiscertain: Thenextgenerationofcross-platformconnectorsishere,plusit’sabouttoreplacetheoldguardjustasthefirstUSBstandardreplacedAppleDesktopBus (ADB),FireWire,parallel,PS/2,SCSI,andserialportsonMacsandPCs.USB-C is one port to rule them all.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s