USB c is imminent – Small plug everything seems to




Announced at Computex Intel and AMD new processors, all motherboard manufacturers showed new signs show, and we were new cases , laptops , SSD and more against. Still, it seemed virtually everything left or right to do one thing to do: USB c.

Many motherboards and laptops we arrived at the new terminal and peripherals manufacturers seized the Computex to provide all of their devices the new USB connectors. Still, we were left with some questions, for which speed USB c actually works, what about the thunderbolt and you can via USB c nou one laptop with the other charge? At Computex, we talked with several people to figure out how the fork in the stem.

USB c = USB 3.1, or not?

The initial confusion surrounding the new USB standard arises because all USB 3.1 and USB c are released simultaneously. USB 3.1 is the successor to USB 3.0 and doubles the maximum transfer rate up to 10Gbit / s. In addition, USB 3.1 less overhead than 3.0, thanks to an efficient encoding method. In February, have we already tested an early version of USB 3.1 and we then came out at impressive speeds.

USB SuperSpeed

Unlike USB 3.1, USB c no specification of a protocol, but actually not much more than a specification of a connection. That connection has the great advantage of being reversible, so you never have your USB cable wrong to try to plug. USB-C can support speeds of up to 10Gbit / s, but may also up to 5Gbit / s work. What is confusing is that in both cases about ‘USB 3.1′ is spoken, the slower variant is further specified as’ USB 3.1 gen1 ‘, while the rapid variant USB 3.1 gen2’ hot.

A USB connector allows c-so always use the USB 3.1 protocol, but that does not mean you immediately can use the 10Gbit / s bandwidth. However, the 3.1-protocol specifies more than just extra speed. Thus, it is possible to deliver up to 100 watts power, and in order to send DisplayPort and HDMI streams directly over USB.


The best known example of the possible applications of USB-C can be found in Apple’s MacBook. At this time, the MacBook is one of the few laptops on the market that are USB-c provided . The maximum speed is admittedly gen1, but all other options of USB 3.1 are supported. Therefore, it is an original Apple adapter possible to simultaneously charge the laptop, an external monitor via HDMI and use the USB-A connector for peripherals such as an external drive, but that is of course much elaborate.

The USB-IF demonstrated a prototype of a Texas Instruments hub. The hub was connected to an Apple MacBook laptop and loaded, but at the same time an alliance external USB drive, sent a monitor over USB to c, connected a USB stick, and a wireless keyboard and mouse set. Other manufacturers like PQI, preparing for USB c by cables and USB drives with both USB-A and USB-C to bring out. A nice discovery was the micro SD reader, the SD card into the USB-A connector fits. Like the aforementioned USB stick reader which is equipped with a USB a- and c-type connector.

Charging over USB: matter of luck?

If USB c become as ubiquitous as the standard USB-A connectors though, it could go a lot of cables and chargers care. Smartphones, tablets and laptops can all be powered by the same USB c charger and use the same USB cable c.

USB power delivery Logo for USB charging connections are bus-powered

One connector to rule them all so, as it is located on the USB organization, but the final adoption is expected to run more complicated. That’s because one USB c connector, the other is not, and there is also a difference in the cables will sit. Although the USB standard provides the ability to have capacities up to 100W over a USB cable running, support almost all USB-C connectors that we have not seen on motherboards and laptops more than 5V and 2A, or 10W, and you find the higher voltages on separate chargers. The USB-IF contending in the pd 2.0 specification five different profiles.

Profile 1: at least 5V, 2.0A
Profile 2: at least 5V, 2.0A and 12V, 1.5A
Profile 3: at least 5V, 2.0A and 12V, 3.0A
Profile 4: at least 5V, 2.0A; 12V, 3.0A and 3.0A 20V
Profile 5: at least 5V, 2.0A; 12V, 20V and 5,0A 5,0A
So if you want to benefit from the full 60 or 100W, then you have to find a charger with a USB port c that satisfies section five. That is not the only one, because not every cable will be suitable to introduce so much power. USB 3.1 cables have to do so e-markers on board, or chips that tell at what voltage and speed they can work up. Did you get the correct charger, it may have an incorrect USB 3.1 cable still cause your laptop is not powered. You’re not sure whether you use the right charger and cable, then it is a matter of luck or you can use the correct charging current.

Have you such a new cable, which offers or new possibilities. At the stand of the USB-IF was in fact demonstrated the functionality of USB-c using the new Chromebook Pixel and MacBook, both of which are equipped with USB c. Connect both your laptops, the MacBook Pixel will then load.

Chromebook MacBook

When asked whether it can reverse, an employee replied negatively. The MacBook will in these situations as a recipient work, while the Pixel is pleased to provide electricity. Employees expect that in the future smartphones perhaps the opportunity is to regulate the energy direction. That would mean that you can charge a smart phone with your watch or other smartphone.

The distinguishing one from the other

It would be useful if your USB ports and cables with different speeds and capacities could distinguish. With USB 3.0, USB-IF asked for to the blue 3.0 connectors to distinguish them from slower 2.0 connectors. That proposal was moreover no obligation and laptops include Apple and Dell were therefore just black USB 3.0 connectors provided.

With USB 3.1, there is no color and that is why we have presented at Computex light blue USB 3.1 ports Asus and ASRock seen, while MSI and Gigabyte have gone to red. The number of enclosures with USB c front was at the fair too low, because there is still not decided on a standard motherboard connector for front-usb. That decision is up to Intel and the company has the knot apparently not yet severed. Some manufacturers of motherboards and enclosures are already anticipated this decision and have just used the same internal connector to USB 3.0.

For certified devices and cables to the USB-IF logo sets available, but you as a manufacturer is not obliged to use. The logos also give only the speed and possibly whether the USB connector can be used for charging with 5V. For USB connections that can handle higher power, are no logos available.

And thunderbolt then?

Thunderbolt will be competing standard usb still not really break through, but that did Intel, the developer of thunderbolt, do not like to release during the Computex version 3.0 of the standard: thunderbolt 3. The new Thunderbolt standard increases the transmission speed to 40Gbit / s and can deliver 100W of power. To the USB c-story even more complicated to make, Intel abandoned the use of the mini display port connector for thunderbolt and has chosen the USB c connector as a new connection.

The standard includes so many capabilities and speeds that there is still some confusion will be

This means that motherboards with support for Thunderbolt through which one connector both USB c- as Thunderbolt devices can control, but also displays, with support for both DisplayPort USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt chip is relatively expensive to implement, and that’s probably why we thunderbolt 3 at Computex only encountered on the motherboards from Gigabyte.


With the support for supplying high power to 100W, transfer rates up to 10Gbit / s and support for Display Port streams could well be the USB c connector can be which is going to replace a lot of other connections. The standard encompasses many different capacities and speeds that there will be some confusion with cables and chargers after plugging not deliver the speed or power you expect. In addition, manufacturers are not required to use different logos or a particular color, which can lead to even more confusion.

For now, there is not much to get USB c devices and it is expected that it will take a narrow two months before the bulk of the USB-C equipment becomes available. Then Windows 10 was released and we expect new laptops with the operating system and USB c. In early August, we expect Skylake Intel processors with the corresponding motherboards, which are also provided for a portion of c-USB connectors. There are, in short, good times, with few cables in the offing.


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