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Cellphones Hardware Technology

Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production 191

orasio writes: One of the most frustrating first-world problems ever (trying to connect an upside-down Micro-USB connector) could disappear soon. The Type-C connector for USB has been declared ready for production by the USB Promoter Group (PDF). "With the Type-C spec finalized, it now comes down to the USB-IF to actually implement the sockets, plugs, cables, adapters, and devices. The problem is that there are billions of existing USB devices and cables that will need adapters and new cables to work with new Type-C devices. It’s a lot like when Apple released the Lightning connector, but on an even grander scale. Further exacerbating the issue is the fact that China, the EU, and the GSMA have all agreed that new mobile devices use Micro-USB for charging — though it might be as simple as including a Micro-USB-to-Type-C adapter with every new smartphone."
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Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

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  • Re: What for? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JBell4 ( 740892 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @07:07PM (#47659013)
    Easy of use? The locking tabs and uni-orientation of all the micro connectors sucks compared a lightening connector which plugs in regardless of which way you grab it off the floor in the dark.... That, or it's to screw up benedict cummberbatchs ability to determine who is a drunk by how messed up the connectors of their phones are ;)
  • by ChipMonk ( 711367 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @07:40PM (#47659193) Journal
    It has to do with exactly *how* the connections are made as the plug is inserted. Ground/common so static can dissipate, then data/signal, then power last. Each line connects only to its corresponding line in the other piece. A 3.5mm plug doesn't provide that kind of "signal safety"; at some point, it's possible the power on one side would touch the ground on the other, and put a charge into the device before it was fully plugged-in.
  • 100 Watts (Score:5, Informative)

    by neonv ( 803374 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @08:21PM (#47659421)

    Please keep in mind an important aspect of this new cable, it supports 100 watts power transfer. That means most devices, including laptops, can be charged through this one connector. I see that as the best reason to switch, fast charging and universal connector for all my devices. The article glosses over that important detail. It also enables 10 Gbs data transfer.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:40PM (#47659985)

    There's even more to it than that. The typical 3.5mm *will* briefly short when mating. Not that this is necessarily a problem but it needs to be taken into account in the design.

    Furthermore USB being a high speed data link relies on transmission line characteristics. That is the impedance of the lines need to be carefully controlled, the distance between data lines needs to be carefully controlled, and in these cases the construction of the connector matters a lot. Everything from the spacing of the pins to the shell, to the layout of signals as they reach the circuit board matters. There's no easy way to keep this all nice and even if you pass one signal through another.

  • Re: What for? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:36AM (#47662331)

    The magsafe plug was probably deliberately left off that list, because the first iteration was a safety risk, and came with a special instruction sheet to plug / unplug it so that it doesn't burn down your house.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe