Development for the next generation of USB has begun, although it will break compatibility with current connectors, there are some good reasons for it. The new connector, called “Type-C”, is being developed to be reversible, easier to use, and it will allow to connect thinner devices. The new USB Type-C connector is built on the existing USB 3.1 specification and is scheduled to be ready before the end of 2014.
Although, there aren’t any images available to show the new USB Type-C connector, we know is the size of a Micro USB plug and it is reversible. According to new press release from the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, the important features of the new Type-C USB plug are:
- New design to fit in new product designs (i.e., phones, tablets, ultrabooks, etc)
- Smaller size based on the Micro USB 2.0
- Reversible design, that way users do not have to check before plugging in
- Can use future enhancements in USB bus performance
- Scalable power charging
Even though, the new Type-C USB connector will break the backward compatibility with previous connectors, the need for a new connector is past overdue, 17 years to be exact, since the first USB connector was first introduced into the market. The change of course won’t happen overnight, it will take time, and the USB team will also have to include specifications to create adapter for all the devices that today work with a standard USB connector to make a smoother transition.
The news follows the most recent USB specification update, the version 3.1 which doubles the throughput from 5Gbps to 10Gbps, increased the power output, and keeps backward compatibility with USB 2.0 intact.