As they always do, the guys and gals over at the USB implementers forum have announced yet another update to the USB interface, except this time they’re introducing a third connector type. Currently, there is a USB Type-A and a USB Type-B for most versions of the USB interface, be it standard USB or microUSB. The A-Type USB connector is usually the one that most people interact with as a result of the fact that in most cases it is the one that supplies power and that is used for connecting peripherals to a PC.
The new Type-C connector will be built on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies and is designed to allow for thinner devices and less worrisome connectivity. The new C-Type connector is designed to be a bi-directional cable in the sense that it does not have a single orientation that it must be in order to fit inside of the connector. This, combined with a smaller size, similar to microUSB 2.0, and scalable power and connector will enable for potentially faster speeds and better user experiences.
Since the Type-C connector will be utilizing an entirely new connector, there will be passive cables and adapters created to allow for better interoperability between cables and connectors on devices. And since this standard will be implemented at first with the USB 3.1 standard, that means we could theoretically see 10 Gbps throughput speeds connecting our smartphones with our computers and our cameras with our computers. Granted, the memory cards and storage inside of our systems and mobile devices are nowhere nearly fast enough to utilize the full bandwidth of USB 3.1 and the new Type-C connector. But, the new Type-C connector should make USB 3.0 and 3.1 more accessible within the mobile space, which I believe is the ultimate goal of this new connector.
The new connector is targeted for industry review during the first quarter of 2014 and is expected to reach the final specification stage by the middle of 2014. This should mean that we can probably only expect to see devices with this new connector in 2015 or maybe in the very very late part of 2014.