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Next Generation USB 3.1 Cables with Type-C Connectors Revealed

Next Generation USB 3.1 Cables with Type-C Connectors Revealed

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has released pictures of the new USB 3.1 cable that features Type-C connectors. The new connector is reversible, much like Apple’s orientation-agnostic Lightning cable.

Besides featuring a reversible connector, the new USB 3.1 cable is also reversible end-to-end. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which end of the cable is used, as long as the connected device has a compliant USB 3.1 port for the Type-C connector. The USB 3.1 specifications were finalized by USB Promoter Group in August 2013, and the Type-C connector was announced, without any pictures or photos, four months later in December. Now, the USB-IF has finally revealed how the Type-C connector will look.

Here's a quick recap of the main features of the USB 3.1 specifications:

  • New 10Gbps USB data rate
  • Compatibility with existing cables and connectors
  • Improved data encoding for more efficient data transfer leading to higher throughput and improved I/O power efficiency
  • Compatible with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols
  • Compatible with both existing 5Gbps hubs and devices, as well as USB 2.0 products

The Type-C connector will replace the current Type-A and Type-B ones; however, this process is expected to be long-drawn-out. Therefore, do expect to see device manufacturers offer options for them, side by side. According to Ars Technica, the design for Type-C connector will be finalized by the middle of the year, and its compliant products are slated for shipment soon after.

(Source: USB-IF via Ars Technica)

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