A USB-C Primer

Most of my primers are for software and methodologies; this one just captures a few points about a new hardware standard so I don’t forget them.

  • USB-C is an industry-standard created by the USB Implementers Forum, which has more than 700 companies in its membership

  • It’s designed to transmit both data and power

  • The connector is symmetrical and can simply be lined up and put in, i.e., there’s no worry that you’ll put it in upside down

  • The default protocol for USB-C is USB 3.1

  • USB 3.1 is a 10Gbps protocol

  • USB-C supports multiple protocols going over it, including DisplayPort, HTMI, and Firewire (and soon audio)

  • Once audio works over USB-C, manufacturers are likely to remove the headphone jack from notebooks and desktops as well

  • There are adapters to move from USB 3.0 ports to USB-C and many other physical ports

  • You can charge a laptop with it (which is good since a lot of laptops soon will have it as the only option)

  • Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector

  • Apple is using Thunderbolt 3 as the main protocol over its USB-C ports

  • Thunderbolt 3 supports 40Gbps per second with cables of .5 meter and shorter and 20Gps for longer cables

  • All USB-C cables will work as Thunderbolt cables

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