Design evolution is at the heart of technology in motion. In order to improve something, you must change its main configuration. That explains why phones are slimming down, computer displays continue to get thinned up, and USB-C ports are now the future.
Chances are, you’ve already encountered a USB-C. It’s the oblong connector used in most phone chargers today. Some hard- and flash-drive brands also now sport USB-C design. Unlike the familiar rectangular shape of USB types A and B, the USB-C is conveniently reversible (or flippable), forever doing away with the annoyance of failing to connect your cable to the port after multiple unsuccessful attempts.
And with improved design comes better functionality. USB-C transmits data and power at an incredibly fast rate and is further linked with advanced computing tech like Intel’s Thunderbolt 3.
This guide will help you answer the most common questions about USB-C.
What Is USB-C?
When you hear about a USB, you probably automatically think about USB Type A connectors, which are rectangular and have been used for many years since the dawn of the computing era. These connectors are used to pass data and power from one computing device to another. Just like USB Type A, the USB-C does the same job but does so relatively faster than its predecessors.
But what makes it special is how it aims to be the standard for computing connectivity. It wants to be the universal replacement for both ends of the cable. Furthermore, the USB-C is inspiring a new line of devices that takes advantage of the USB-C’s full capability, which may help usher in a new age for faster computing.
What Devices Support the USB-C?
The first devices that sported USB-C connection capability include the Nokia N1 and Apple’s 12-inch MacBook. These devices, especially the latter, helped kick off the trend for USB-C. Today, most smartphones and tablets make use of USB-C, especially to aid their ultraslim designs.
Can I Charge My Phone Faster with USB-C?
Yes. This is possible, thanks to the USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specification. USB PD can deliver up to 100 watts of power to get your phone back to operation in no time. Comparably, a USB 2.0 port can only deliver 2.5 watts of power while the USB 3.1 is only able to deliver 15 watts.
With this capacity, it’s exciting to speculate about the possibility of projectors powered by laptops in the future, based solely on USB-C.
What Is Thunderbolt 3?
Thunderbolt 3 is perhaps the most useful protocol supported by USB-C. Harnessing the power of USB-C ports, Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 data technology aims to deliver two 4k displays, fast data, and quick notebook charging at the same time, providing more speed, more pixels, and more possibilities.
This means that a USB-C port equipped with Thunderbolt 3 tech can push data speeds as fast as 40Gbps, which is 3,000 times faster than the original USB 1 spec of only 12Mbps. How far we’ve come, indeed!
Do I Need to Get New Cables?
Revolutionary as it may, it will take some time for USB-C’s reign to reach its golden age. As for now, consumers will have to adapt and see the gradual transition.
This means that if you travel for business or if using media presentation is a regular part of your work, owning a USB multiport or dock and cables that can connect other port types is most recommended. This way, you can harness the full power of your USB-C.
Thankfully, most phone and tablet manufacturers today are rapidly converting to USB-C. Most laptop makers are also quickly integrating USB-C ports into their designs.
Speed is the name of the game when it comes to connectivity, and USB-C aims to be at the top. So if you’re looking to upgrade your tools and harness the power of this beast, be sure to look for devices that support USB-C specs.