Here’s the concept design of the reversible next-gen USB connector

Daniel Bader

April 3, 2014 7:50am

Last year, we heard that the next version of the USB standard will bring about a completely different plug and connector design, making it not only much smaller but reversible. This is the first big change in both male and female USB connectors since the standard was introduced in the mid-1990’s.

While the existing two “A” and “B” plug standards will still exist for backwards compatibility sake (and higher transfer speeds), the brand new “Type C” connector will look similar to today’s microUSB standard but feature a flat input design that can be plugged in both orientations. This is similar to the way Apple’s new Lightning connector works.

usb-port-type-c

While transfer speeds are set to broach 10Gbit/s for USB 3.1, double that of the current USB 3.0 standard (which is only now coming to mobile devices), the good news is that those they will not require the auxiliary connector like they do on today’s products. The smaller “Type C” connector will also be able to carry a 2A current at 5V for a maximum output of 10W, but larger devices will be able to carry 2A at 12V or even 20V for a maximum output of 100W, making the standard capable of powering even the most demanding of peripherals.

It must be noted that the final “Type C” connector design has not yet been finalized, and these photos are just concept renders. But they do prove that the standard is coming soon, and that’s good for all mobile devices.

  • Lyndon Boychuk

    Good idea.

  • sicsicpuppy

    about time

  • Ryan

    awesome!

  • grantdude

    Thank God they’re making it reversible. What happens to me ALL the time is I try to plug it in the right way, but somehow can’t get it in, so I flip it over to the wrong way, try again, and still can’t get it in, so I flip it yet again and finally plug it in on the 3rd try.

    • Pascal

      Same here! Specially when it’s dark!

    • AlphaEdge

      Ha ha. Had that very same problem the other day!

      This new connector is very much welcome!

    • Eric

      Thats what he said…

    • Richard Wangly

      MicroUSB is horrible. Just small enough that it’s hard to tell which side is wider, no standardized housing means each cable feels different or is “upside-down”, and those damn prongs that always catch on the edge of the socket… Good riddance!

  • HiKsFiles

    Apple to sue in 3 … 2 … 1 … :)

    • TrainAss

      Why? It looks nothing like Lightningbolt.

    • HiKsFiles

      Right, it’s not white

  • Amparipaa

    a reversible USB connector? gentlemen, time to rock~, because this is better than even Apple’s Lightning connector, for both sides are reversible.

    perhaps i’ll wait on a Win8 tablet until one comes out with a Type C USB3.1 connector (by that time we’ll probably see Braswell chips too, and with that better battery life + faster performance [to an extent; this isn't Bay Trail])

  • Stuntman06

    It is possible for technology to advance and be standardised across many different devices and manufacturers.

    • TrainAss

      Yup, that’s what happened with MicroUSB. Almost every phone available (save for iPhones) uses a MicroUSB connector for data/charging. The new standard will be USB 3.1

  • daftchemist

    Will the new ports be backwards compatible somehow with the old standard? I’m just wondering this because of the backlash apple got when they changed to the lightning port. It seems possible to me that the new port would work with old cords if it can be plugged in either way? But maybe not? Just curious.