Why You Need a USB-C on your Device
For years now, most phones have charged and transferred files through a Micro-USB port and cable. These days, however, it’s more and more common to find a new standard: USB Type-C. This new port technology is said to be faster, more efficient and best of all flippable, so you can plug in your cord correctly every time.
USB-C was first published in 2014, Right now, it’s being included in a lot of devices like the newest laptops, phones, and tablets and given time it’ll spread to pretty much everything that currently uses the older, larger USB connector.
“USB-C” refers to the physical connector of the port, which is a 24-pin, double-sided, and contains:
- 4x power pins
- 4x ground pins
- 8x super-speed data pins
- 4x high-speed USB data pins
- 2x SBU pins
- 2x CC pins
USB-C is closely intertwined with other new standards, as well faster speeds and USB Power Delivery for improved power-delivery over USB connections.
Most USB-C ports support the USB 3.1 data transfer standard, which comes in two varieties. USB 3.1 Gen 1 offers maximum data transfer speeds of 5Gbps, while USB 3.1 Gen 2 boosts data speeds up to 10Gbps. While these speeds are impressive, the even-faster Thunderbolt 3 standard developed by Intel takes top spot.
Thunderbolt 3 is a powerful interface which can support data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps, along with other features.This technology is not supported by older USB connectors and could be one of the biggest motivations for hardware manufacturers switching to USB-C.
The USB-C also supports modes for the transmission of other signals through its interface. It can be used to transmit video signals and drive displays at resolutions of up to 3,840 x 2,160, for example. This is compatible with both HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces, and is ideal for slim laptop designs which struggle to fit HDMI or DisplayPort ports into their frame.
The ability to use USB-C ports to drive displays mean that users will also no longer need to search for separate cables, especially if their monitor accepts USB-C as a direct input port. USB-C also supports the USB Power Delivery standard. While previous-generation ports could only deliver 15W of power, USB-C with power delivery can support up to 100W through a single cable.
USB Type-C is a worthy upgrade. It’s making waves on the newer MacBooks and some mobile devices, but it’s not an Apple or mobile only technology. As time goes on, USB-C will appear in more and more devices of all types. Imagine a day when your Android-using friends need a charge and you don’t have to give the sorrowful “Sorry, I’ve just got an iPhone charger”