First images of reversible USB cables emerge

USB Type-C plug will initially sport up to 10Gpbs data transfer speeds

The ubiquitous USB cable that has always required users to plug it in "right side up" will soon get a welcome upgrade: a symmetrical plug similar to Apple's Lightning connector.

A presentation by Intel this week showed the new USB Type-C cable specification, expected to be completed by July. The new spec will initially use existing USB SuperSpeed 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, according to the USB Implementers Forum.

USB Type-C
An artists rendition of what the new USB Type-C cable and port will look like (Source: Intel).

The USB Type-C Connector is a new design created to work with emerging product designs with smaller ports.

Unlike today's USB connectors, which requires a user to correctly orient the plug, USB 3.1 Type-C cable is reversible. Initially, the USB 3.1 Type-C specification will support up to 10Gbps data transfer speeds.

The new USB cable and plug is similar in size to existing USB 2.0 Micro-B plugs now used in some smartphones and other mobile accessories.

The Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging in order to grow with future USB bus performance requirements. The first iteration will have a 5 volt power transfer rate, but that is expected to deliver up to 100 watts for higher power applications.

USB Type-C
An artist's rendition of the new USB Type-C port (Source: Intel).

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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