What you need to know about USB Type-C: “One lead to rule them all”
There is a new USB standard coming to the market that you should be aware of, it’s called USB Type-C and with several new features to boast about its sure to make a big impact this year.
The new Apple MacBook is one of the first devices to take advantage of this new technology but as many other devices slated for release later this year come to market we’re sure to hear and see a lot more of USB Type-C, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what it has to offer and why its better than previous version of USB.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference will be with the data transfer rates which on USB Type C are listed as 10Gbps. This is double the speed of USB type 3.0, which could only manage 5Gbps. Another neat upgrade is that while you’re connected you can enjoy 20 volts of power at 5 amps where as the previous USB leads could only manage 5 Volts at a little under 2 amps. This means that most devices will be able to charge at a faster rate, especially tablets.
USB Type C will also allow for bi-directional power so not only can a host power a peripheral device but a peripheral device can also power a host when applicable.
As USB Type C is still very new but the good news is that it will be backward compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0. It’s also future proof according to the USB Implementers Forum, the group responsible for the USB development, this means it will work with future, faster USB versions.
While the standards are compatible the cables are not. This means that you are going to need either several USB type C adapters for different slots or devices, or alternatively a few USB Type C hubs that will allow you to connect you many and varied devices. The good news is that these should be fairly cheap.
It will take a few years for USB type C to become as popular Type A but once it does it means all devices will be able to transfer data and be powered by one truly universal cable. One lead to rule them all.