Feeds

Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE

You can't jam 'em into existing slots, though... Apple-inspired connector to debut next year

High performance access to file storage

USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible.

Designed to support both USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, the new connector, dubbed "Type C", will be the same size as an existing micro USB 2.0 plug.

That’s big improvement over existing USB 3.0 micro "Franken-connector" jacks which extend the tiny “USB 2.0 Micro B” connector with a bigger, USB 3.0 plug. This compromise came about because of the need to ensure backwards compatibility with USB 2.0-only systems. USB 3.0’s performance improvements are delivered through an entirely separate bus.

The new connector will still carry two separate buses – though not necessarily simultaneously – but will not fit into existing USB ports of any kind. Gadgets will require new slots, then. Users will need new cables to hook up to their existing computer-hosted USB ports and AC adaptors for power.

Speaking of power, the Type C jack will support power charging across a range of voltages in order to support not only devices able to operate off standard USB power lines, but also kit like laptops that require much more power than USB usually delivers.

It’ll also be able to support future USB speed upgrades, paving the way for the bus to become a one-size-fits all system for connectivity and energy. Almost that - there’s still display data, of course. But if they can manage to cram DisplayPort or HDMI in there too, we’d be able to run everything off the same kind of cable.

The USB Implementers Forum, overseer of the USB standard, said it expects to have the USB Type C specification ready during the first quarter of 2014, with the final specification published around the middle of next year.

Products using the connector won’t appear for another 18 months or so after that. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.