Bruce Rose, CUI
The new USB Type-C connector should become a common sight in new laptops and mobile devices over the next couple of years. Smaller and easier to use – allowing plugs to be inserted in either direction – the new mechanical interface has all of the features needed to support the advanced USB electrical standards that allow for even faster data exchanges and higher maximum power.
With 24 contacts, a Type-C connector can have two data lanes to support 20 Gbps transfers as mandated in the newest USB 3.2 standard. At the same time, there are enough contacts for five power/ground pairs – rated for up to 20 Volts each – allowing connections to carry up to 100 Watts as defined by the USB Power Delivery (PD) specification.
But while these new electrical standards make full use of the extra contacts in the Type-C connector, a USB Type-C connector in the side of your device does not necessarily mean it can communicate at these higher speeds, or handle USB PD levels.
Bruce Rose explains the advantages of USB Type-C in CUI Inc’s CUI Insights Blog post, USB Type C and USB 3.1 Gen 2 – Clarifying the Connection. He examines how it fits with legacy USB electrical standards as well as the new USB PD and USB 3.1 Gen 2 specifications, and the options for engineers designing-in USB Type-C plugs and receptacles.