Meet the new, reversible USB

The official design for the next-generation, reversible USB has been finalised, and it can be plugged in upside down.

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USB 3.0 Promoter Group

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that it has finalised its redesign of the USB.

Called USB Type-C, the specification -- which was announced last December -- aims to solve several problems with current USB design; possibly the most exciting of which is the eradication of "right way up" with a reversible plug. Like Apple's Lightning connector, it can be plugged into its port either way.

The new USB is also designed both to be small enough to fit mobile devices, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets.

"Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well," said USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders. "Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution."

The USB is comparable in size with micro USB 2.0 Type-B connectors, with a port size of 8.4 by 2.6mm, yet will be compatible with SuperSpeed USB at 10Gbps (USB 3.1). It will also support USB Power Delivery up to 100W, with additional support for scalable power charging and future USB performance needs.

It won't, of course, be compatible with existing USB plugs and receptacles. While the industry begins the slow transition, USB Type-C ports will coexist with other USB ports on devices, and new-to-existing cables and adapters will be made available so that consumers will be able to use the new connector with their existing tech.

The specification for USB Type-C can be downloaded from the USB Implementers Forum.

 

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