What is USB-C? History, Differences and Future!

What is USB-C? Title

USB Type-C is a specification for a reversible-plug connector for USB devices and USB cabling. Developed at roughly the same time as the USB 3.1 specification

USB History

What is USB?

First released in December 1994 USB, short for Universal Serial Bus is the industry standard for cable, connectors and communication protocols used in communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices.


  • USB 1.0 was release in Januaray 1996 with data rates of 1.5 Mbit/s .
  • USB2.0 added a higher maximum singlaing rate of 480 Mbit/s in April 2000.
  • USB3.0 increased the speed to  5Gbit/s and introduced a new mode for charging where devices could draw up to 1.5 Ampere in November 2008. In this new mode data-transfer is not possible.
  • USB3.1 is an upgrade for USB3.0 with a new Plug increasing the 5Gbit/s to 10Gbit/s.

Difference between USB 3.1 and USB-C

While USB 3.1 defines the protocol how the two devices are talking to each other USB-C is how the plug looks like. USB 3.1 allows a data transfer rate up to to 10 Gbit/s. Compared with the Type-C plug this will change the way we connect and use devices in the next years

The USB-C Plug

The 24-pin double-sided connector provides four power/ground pairs, two differential pairs for USB 2.0 data bus, four pairs for high-speed data bus, two “sideband use” pins, and two configuration pins for cable orientation detection. This will allow multiple devices while still maintaining high speeds – with the orientation detection the interface will work even when plugged in upside down.

USBC Speed Comparison with other ports

USB Type A, Type B, Type C comparison

USB-C Plug Cables

Full-featured USB Type-C cables are active, electronically marked cables that contain a chip with an ID function based on the configuration data channel and vendor-defined messages

Future of USB-C

Right now Apple startet the seriouse use of the USB-C plug . But this not just another proprietary connector from Apple. It is going to be a new industry wide standard and we think that the new Macbook happens to be the first consumer notebook to embrace this plug – with a lot more to come.

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