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Monday, August 25, 2014

There's A New USB Spec In Town

USB Type C on the left
We're all getting weaned off of Firewire for Thunderbolt and USB 2 for USB 3, but now comes yet another data transfer format that promises to up the ante for moving our data around. It's the new USB Type-C.

USB Type-C (sometimes referred to as USB 3.1) has a new cable and connector scheme and it's twice as fast as the current USB 3.0 at 10Gps, which is fast enough to be used for video transmission. The spec is also robust enough that it will even be able to be used for DC power transmission, which could open up all sorts of applications, and maybe help get rid of those ugly wall warts that we all hate.

The other thing that's interesting is that since the connector is brand new and very sleek, it's now possible to easily integrate them into mobile devices like phones and tablets (goodbye Lightning?).

Predictions are that we'll begin seeing the new connectors on laptops and peripherals by the end of the year.

While all this sounds great, the downside is Type C won't mate with existing USB connectors, so we'll need a whole new set of cables. Hopefully they'll be a lot cheaper than Thunderbolt.

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