With 500+ million USB devices shipped each year, the number of USB ports that USB devices carry is enormous. USB is widely used in the consumer electronics market.
USB Type-A and Type-B cables, ports, and connectors are ubiquitous in devices as diverse as smartphones, PCS, video games, backup power supplies, and cars. As technology continues to evolve toward better, thinner, and more energy-efficient devices, native cable components have been a bottleneck for innovation in the sector. The limitations of the native USB standard were so obvious that competitors like Thunder were always eager to grab a piece of the massive USB market. The USB Type-C standard was released in mid-2014, providing the existing advantages of the USB standard (2.0, Gen1, Gen2) to an evolving ecosystem of new platforms.
USB Type-c PIN structure
- Four pairs of differential pins are used for Gen1, Gen2 USB, or with third-party peripherals in alternate mode. The existence of four pairs enables Type-C to use composite permutations, such as USB 3.1 with a 2-channel display port. A2, A3, B2, B3, A10, A11, B10, and B11 represent SS difference pins.
- Two pairs of non-hyperspeed differential pins for USB 2.0. – A6, A7, B6, and B7.
- Four pins are used for VBUS and ground (VBUS: A4, A9, B9, B4, and ground: A1, A12, B1, B12).
- Two pairs of CC (configuration channels) are used for power supply and sideband use. CC — A5, B5, sideband — A8, B8.
- The presence of multiple pins for each function enables Type-c to be used in flip mode.
New functions and features of USB Type-C
- Size: The Type-c interface has a relatively smaller and thinner 24-pin plug assembly, which can replace the existing plug assembly — mini plug and micro plug. Type-c is thinner than the thinnest “Micro-B” plug available (also available for SS/SSP). So one cable fits all your devices — as well as thinner components.
- Backward compatibility: Since the underlying standards remain the same, it is seamlessly backward compatible with available assemblies. All the latest devices, from Apple’s MacBook to Google’s Pixel phone to Samsung’s Galaxy S8, support The Type-C standard.
- Power supply requirements – Type-c complies with Power Delivery specifications. A Type-C cable assembly in a device or host can be used as a power source or receiver to provide or consume power. This is possible because Power Delivery has the Power role changeability and Power negotiation ability to higher powers. The power supply provides 100 watts of power, enough to charge a laptop. So with Type-C cables, you can charge and even power your device.
- Easy to use: Type-C is reversible and can be connected in either direction, which solves a very basic problem with native USB plugs that the plug doesn’t fit the first time. Repeat pins are available to help connect cables in a straight or reversed direction.
- Alternate mode: This is proof that Type-C is more than just USB territory. In an alternate mode, type-C cables can be connected to third-party peripherals other than USB. Some peripherals supported include Display Port, MHL, Thunderbolt 3, and most recently HDMI. Alternate modes must be performed using VDM (vendor-defined message) exchanges on CC pins (power supply). This is another way to reduce the profile size by supporting multiple peripherals on the same connector.