Reversible USB connector design finalised

The design for a new type of reversible USB cable has been finalised and is now ready to be put into mass production.

The new Type-C cable has been designed so it ishardy enough for mobile devices as well as being slimmer. Its reversibility is much like Apple's own Lightening cable used in newer iPhones and iPads. Should Apple adopt this technology, future Lightening cables could sport reversible connectors on both ends.

The Type-C connector is roughly similar in size to the micro USB 2.0 Type-B connector and has a port size of 8.4mm by 2.6mm. However, speedwise it will be comparable and compatible with SuperSpeed USB at 10Gbps. It will also support USB Power Delivery up to 100W. This also includes added support for scalable power charging and other USB performance needs in the future.

However, the new Type-C connectors will not be compatible with existing Type-A, Type-B and Micro-B connectors, meaning that users will require adaptors or new devices to use them.

The specifications have now been passed onto the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), who will set up a compliance and certification program for newcablesand connectors.

"Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well," said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman.

"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."

Alex Peleg, vice president of the Platform Engineering Group at Intel, said thenext generation of USB technology "opens the door for the invention of an entirely new, super thin class of devices that consumers haven't even seen yet".

The specification for USB Type-C can be found atthe USB Implementers Forum website. The first pictures of the new connector were revealed back in April.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.