The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced today that the development of a new type of USB connector has begun. It is called USB Type-C, and will be based on the technology seen in USB 2.0 and 3.1. The complete specifications for the new connector will be finished sometime in the middle of 2014.
The Type-C connector will be a slimmer design, made to fit more modern mobile devices easily. Overall size will be similar to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B. One of the primary improvements in this design is its reversibility, so that there is no “wrong” way to plug it in.
Type-C connectors will not plug in directly to existing usb ports, so new passive adapters and cables will have to be included in the specifications of this new interface. Type-C is expected to scale to any future specifications, so this changeover to the smaller connector should become standard for many years to come, without further changes in the physical layout.
Unfortunately, the USB Promoter Group has not released a photo, or even drawings of the new connector, so we will be in the dark regarding its exact shape and size for a few months. But many expect it to be similar to the Apple Lightning connector.
You can read the press release from the USB 3.0 Promoter Group here. (warning, fairly slow loading pdf file)