The ‘universal serial bus’ (USB) standard was created nearly 25 years ago as a way to link phones, computers, printers, scanners and a variety of other peripherals. In that time, the communications standard has moved from USB 1.0 to USB 2 to 3 and now 4 – each faster than the previous version.
Mechanically speaking, the same rectangular ‘Type-A’ connector has been used for most of those years without an update – but that’s finally changing with USB Type-C.
So, what is USB Type-C? And what do the latest changes mean for this ubiquitous port?
A Brief History of USB
USB was initially released in 1996, but the first computer to use it successfully was the original iMac.
Apple replaced all of the old-fashioned ports like serial and SCSI with this new Universal Serial Bus on their new computers, and even though most of the press made fun of them for it, the iMac quickly became a success. USB soon followed suit.
The USB Implementers Forum, which is made up of over 700 companies from around the world, designed the USB specification.
The membership includes heavyweights like Apple, HP, Dell, Microsoft, and Samsung – which also helped push USB adoption in the early days.
Since then, USB has evolved and the latest version is more than 20,000 times faster than the original.’
Types of USB Connectors
The USB Type-A connector is the original rectangular USB connector that has been used on most computers for the past 20 years.
These connectors are not symmetrical, which can make them difficult to connect, especially if you’re trying to plug something into the back of your computer where you can’t see what you’re doing.
The USB Type-B connector is the other end of many of those older cables. It’s the roughly-square connector that plugs into printers, scanners, external hard drives, and various other devices.
The new USB Type-C connector is great because it is reversible and you can’t put it in wrong. This is a huge improvement over the old connectors which were very frustrating because you could only fit them one way and it was hard to tell which side was up.
Benefits of USB-C
The reversible design is one of the best advantages that USB-C has to offer. Since you can’t insert it in the wrong way, it makes the connection process simpler and practically eliminates any damage that could be done to the port or the cable. There are other great benefits as well.
Much like earlier versions, USB-C is compatible with many different types and brands of devices. Whether you use Windows or Mac, iPad or Android, laptop or desktop – it doesn’t matter. The USB type C connector is uniform no matter what you’re using it with.
Having fewer chargers not only means being more convenient, but also helps reduce environmental waste.
USB-C also supports high-bandwidth applications such as high-resolution displays and high-speed external storage. Thunderbolt 3 specification allows for full Thunderbolt support on some models.
One of the benefits of USB-C over previous versions is that it supports ‘power delivery’ (PD) as well as data transfer.
This standard supports up to 100 watts of power delivery, letting you fast-charge your computer and all your other devices through the USB-C port.
Note that PD is an intelligent system too, that asks your phone, laptop or monitor exactly what voltage and power is needed – then delivers exactly that voltage and power, in a safe, reliable and speedy way.
Requirements to Use the USB Type C Connector
It’s always a good idea to make sure your devices are compatible with USB-C connections, as most new laptops, tablets and phones use this type of connection.
When it comes to power delivery, it’s important to check how much power your devices will need so you can choose the right USB-C fast charger.
Another great thing about USB-C is that you can add it to your existing system or use it with new devices as needed.
Powering Your USB-C Devices
There are many fast chargers on the market today that can deliver all the power you need to all your devices safely and quickly.
Next-generation gallium nitride GaNFast technology drives the world’s fastest, smallest and lightest chargers and adapters.
With power levels from 24W to 100W, and options from one-to-four outputs, you’ll be up-to-speed on USB-C in no time. GaNfast.com has all the information you need to choose the right charger for your needs.