The USB Promoter Group today announced that their new Type-C USB connector with reversible plug orientation and cable direction is ready for production. The new USB connectors and the accompanying USB 3.1 standard should also make it possible to charge laptops over USB.
Previous USB connectors only fit in a device with one specific side up, a frustration to many users. The new USB connector has no down or up side and therefore fits no matter which side is up when you plug in the cable.
Frustration of users with this problem should be history once hardware manufacturers start to build hardware with the new connectors. The new Type-C connector fits both ways up and down, comparable to Apple’s Lightning cables. Pictures of the new connectors were previously available but the specifications and design of cables and connectors are now finished and ready to be manufactured.
The new Type-C connectors are not only the successor to the regular big USB connectors, they should also replace micro USB connectors. The new connector is about as large as a USB micro connector but robust enough to also replace the larger regular USB connectors, according to the USB Promoter Group. An additional benefit of the smaller connector is that USB ports on desktops and laptops can be shrunk considerably.
The new standard is incompatible with old USB connectors however the USB Type-C specification defines passive new-to-existing cables and adapters to allow you to use the new connector
with existing products. The new standard and connector is supported by many manufacturers but it’s unclear when we’ll see the Type-C connectors in the first hardware.
The new connector is also part of the USB 3.1 specification which also increases bandwidth to 100 Gbit/s. Also USB power delivery goes up to 100 watts with the new spec which should make it possible to charge laptops on USB. The latter should put an end to the large amount of power adapters currently available for laptops.