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USB Type-C specifications finalized, which could mean no more flipping USB cables

usbcThis is a common tale experienced by pretty much everyone: you try to plug a USB cable into your phone or computer, but it doesn’t seem to fit. This probably means the connector is upside down, so the obvious solution is to flip it over. Whoops, it still refuses to go in the socket. You flip it again. Oh, now it works. It’s a problem that has plagued users for years, but, get ready for that predicament to be a thing of the past. USB Type-C is now set for production.

On Tuesday, August 12, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that the design and specifications of the latest in USB connection technology has been finalized and submitted to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the governing body of all things USB.

What does USB Type-C bring to the table? Well the most exciting feature is the one that will prevent problematic situation described above. USB Type-C is “reversible,” meaning it can be plugged into its receptacle at any orientation. Type-C also supports USB 3.1 data speeds of up to 10 Gbps and an increased power yield of 100 watts. The tech is designed to support any future USB performance upgrades.

Type-C USB is similar in size to USB Micro Type-B connectors, the cables seen most commonly on non-Apple mobile phones. However, the increased power yield also makes it powerful enough to charge laptops, meaning that USB could become the new standard in laptop power as well.

The technology is designed to eventually replace both the larger Type-A connections we see on our computers and the smaller micro-sized ones on our mobile devices. Now that specification on USB Type-C has been finalized, we can probably expect products shipping with Type-C compatibility in the very near future. Existing devices will require adapters to interface with the cables. Considering how prevalent older USB connections are (with some even being government mandated in other countries), it will likely be a long time before Type-C becomes as ubiquitous. But once that happens, the nightmare of USB cable gymnastics to successfully plug in to your devices will finally be over.

By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra

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