No more fiddling with ports: reversible USB cable enters production

A new type of USB connector that will completely overhaul current specifications is about to enter production.

The USB 3.1 Type-C, which is about the size of a micro-USB but thinner, “opens the door for the invention of an entirely new, super-thin class of devices that consumers haven’t seen yet,” according to Alex Peleg, VP of Intel’s Platform Engineering Group.

He previously claimed the Type-C is “the only connector one will need across all devices”.

USB Type-C

The USB 3.1 Promoter Group, part of the USB Implementers Forum, has taken a leaf from Apple’s book in the development of the Type-C. Like the Lightning connector, it’s reversible, meaning users can insert it into their device’s port no matter which way up it is.

It also supports USB performance at SuperSpeed 10 GB/sec and USB Power Delivery up to 100W.

The Type-C, which has been in development since late 2013, is a totally new type of cable, meaning it won’t directly interface with current connectors. However, the organisation is also defining standards for adapters, meaning people can still use the new technology with their existing devices.

USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders claimed excitement about the new standards has been so intense that “representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and Internet of Things industry have been knocking down our door anticipating [it]”.

Yet there’s no word yet on quite when the USB 3.1 Type-C will be released, despite the Promoter Group saying it’s entering production. Full details and specs will be revealed at upcoming developer conferences that are “currently being planned”, the organisation said.

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