USB TYPE-C – the future begins
The universal connector that is simply more convenient
USB Type-C cables & adapters
USB Type-C charging devices & power packs
USB Type-C storage media, card readers & hubs
What is USB Type-C?
USB Type-C is the latest standardised format for plug connectors, cables and plug sockets developed by the USB Implementers Forum. This cooperation between leading technology companies such as Apple, Intel and Dell aimed to develop a uniform technology for supplying power, transferring data, and displaying video, all over one and the same connection. The result is the plug and socket type USB-C, whose point-symmetric design allows it to be used either side up.
USB Type-C also supports other technologies with various functions. This is dependent on the product:
USB Power Delivery
Enables fast charging and higher power levels. This allows not only smartphones, but even laptops, monitors and printers to be supplied with power. USB Power Delivery technology (also called “USB PD”) is used on USB Type-C connections and cables. It delivers the correct power for every connected device, as the chipset recognises the device immediately and adjusts accordingly. With USB PD, your smartphone is charged up to 70% faster than with a 5-watt charging capacity.
Thunderbolt is a multi-functional interface that uses the USB Type-C interface and is intended to maximise the speed of data transmission. The third generation supports speeds of up to 40 Gbit/s, which could be used e.g. to feed two monitors at 4K resolution, and even simultaneously transmit data and Ethernet. Thunderbolt 3 is up to eight times faster than USB 3.0.
USB 3.1 Gen 2
USB 3.1 Gen 2 was developed at the same time as USB Type-C. This protocol can transfer data at up to 10 Gbit/s, making it 20 times faster than USB 2.0.
Alternate Mode can cover various data cables, such as HDMI or DisplayPort, using a single USB Type-C cable, meaning that signals other than USB can be used. It doesn’t matter which file you wish to transfer – be it image or audio – thanks to Alternate Mode, you need only one USB Type-C cable.
USB Type-C is often assumed to be equivalent to USB 3.1. But there are important differences:
USB Type-C is a new plug format – USB 3.1 is a technical standard governing data transmission speed.
What does USB Type-C look like?
USB Type-C is smaller than USB-A and stands out for its symmetrical shape.
Advantages at a glance
With the symmetrical USB Type-C plug connector, it doesn’t matter which way you plug it in. This applies not only to the plug, but to the cable itself.
For one thing, in combination with USB 3.1, higher data transfer rates are possible. For another, since it is designed for higher charging currents, it can charge smartphones faster and charge larger devices.
Universal & future-proof
All the largest technology companies are betting on this new standard, with the result that more and more products are hitting the market with USB Type-C connections installed. In addition, the new standard is supported by various operating systems, from iOS to Android to Windows. So it’s only a question of time before all your devices can use the same cable.
USB Type-C plug connectors are smaller than their predecessors, allowing new devices to become slimmer and lighter.
Besides power and data, USB Type-C can transmit Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, PCI Express and analogue audio signals via USB.
With USB Type-C, two connected devices can switch roles, both in data transfer and in charging. So a smartphone could be used to charge a laptop.
Type-C in all areas of life
The application area for USB Type-C is expanding constantly, and it is appearing more and more often anywhere that USB Type-A, USB Type-B, Mini-USB or Micro-USB is used. So, soon we’ll only need a single cable for all kinds of connections.
You’ve come back from holidays and want to show your friends your pictures and videos. In future you will plug your camera directly in your TV.
You had the same cable with you on your backpacking trip – rather than having to take a different cable for each terminal device.
You record a film on your TV to your hard drive and want to watch it on your laptop in bed. That’s not a problem: Just unplug from the TV and plug in somewhere else. No adapters, no formatting, and no cumbersome cable spaghetti throughout the home.