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Reversible USB 3.1 cable to put an end to port frustrations
We’re all familiar with the trusty USB cable by now, but recently the USB Implementers Forum has been busy showing off the next generation of the connection standard. The big news with USB 3.1 is the new Type C interface, pictured above. The redesigned plug and port breaks away from the conventional asymmetrical USB design, instead the new design will be completely reversible at both ends. Finally, Type-C will put an end to the tiresome trial and error approach to connecting up our USB devices.
Looking more specifically at smartphones, Type-C is set to replace all the existing USB connector designs. Therefore, future handsets will eventually do away with the current Micro-USB standard for both PC connection and chargers, in favour of the more user friendly and equally small USB 3.1 Type C.
As well as a redesigned look, USB 3.1 will include faster data transfer speeds of up to 10GBbps, that’s twice the speed of the already pretty quick USB 3.0 standard. On top of that, USB 3.1 is also designed to accommodate higher power requirements from connected devices. USB 3.1 will support up to 2 Amps at 5 Volts (for 10 Watts of power), as well as 5A at either 12V or 20V, although smartphones won’t be using the latter.
USB 3.1 is also backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0, so compatibility between new and existing port types won’t be an issue, providing that you own the right adapter cables.
The design and full specification have not been completely finalised yet, but these pictures suggest that things might not change too drastically from here on out. I, for one, will be happy to see the back of those infernal Type-A ports.