USB Type-C, commonly known as simply USB-C, it an emerging type of USB technology that is introduce by USB Implementers Forum to replace the original standard USB technology. Meaning is aimed at being a replacement for both ends of the USB connector (USB Type-A and Type-C).
Apple helped kick off the trend with the 12-inch MacBook that used a single USB-C socket to connect to all its peripherals, and also to provide power. More recently, the One plus 5, Google Pixel, HTC 10 and LG G5 have incorporated USB-C into phones.
To fully understand what USB Type-C, let me briefly explain the differences between USB Type-A and Type-B.
USB Type-A: Also known as USB Standard-A, is the USB end that goes into a host post, such as a computer. Which is in a flat rectangular shape, there are different USB versions including USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
USB Type-B: is the other end of a standard USB cable that plugs into peripheral device (such as a printer, a phone or an external hard drive). Since the peripheral devices vary a great deal in shape and size, the Type-B connector also come in many different designs. Such as Standard-B, Mini-USB, Micro-USB and Micro-USB 3.0.
USB Type-C (or USB-C)
Physically, the Type-C port and connector are about the same size. Which means both ends of a USB cable are the same, meaning you no longer have to get the plug the right way round, or even the cable the right way round. Unlike the standard USB Type-A and Type-B that the Type-A has different version and Type-B different design. Which can’t not been interchange or backwards compatible.
USB-C was also build on the new USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 standard which means is can deliver a power output of up to 20 volts (100 watts) and 5 amps, which can be used to charge not only smartphones, but also can be used to power even a laptop.
USB 3.1 has a top speed of 10Gbps which is fast enough be used to drive 4K displays and also a full raid SSD. That means that laptops (and PCs of the future) won’t necessarily need HDMI or VGA sockets.
USB-C is still backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and also compatible with DisplayPort, so you just have to get a Type A-to-Type C adapter to connect to a USB-C port.
Another interesting development as result of USB-C is ditching of the 3.5mm audio jack. Has Intel is even working on a USB audio, in fact we have already seen Apple implementing the technology with iPhone 7. But more importantly, the 3.5mm standard is one of the last remaining analogue connection standards still in use today.
With Apple, Samsung, Google and other bunch of tech companies already implementing USB Type-C, eventually, we’ll just need only one type of port and cable to connect all peripheral devices to each other and to a computer.