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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.