What is Type-C USB 3.1? Faster charging, quicker data, smaller mobiles and the death of AC laptop chargers

At last the new Type-C USB connector is ready for mass production. It will come with reversible ends, featuring the same small connector on either end. But it means so much more for new smartphones, tablets and even laptops.

The new Type-C USB will mean faster charging, quicker data transfer rates and thanks to the smaller connectors, smaller phones can be made too. The Type-C plug is compatible with USB 3.1 standards meaning super fast data transfer rates.

Faster charging

The big sell for most users is going to be faster charging. Type-C USB can deliver power at up to 100 watts at 20 volts. This means that larger devices can now be charged from USB, including laptops and monitors. Say goodbye to the clunky AC adapters we've been lugging around until now.

In real world use this will mean much faster charging of compatible mobiles, tablets and now even laptops. This can be done while transferring data at the same time, something previous standards could not always manage.

New connections

The only downside to a new USB is the need for all new gadgets to fit it. While these gadgets can be smaller thanks to smaller USB ports it will mean older kit becomes out-dated.

USB will be offering an adapter of course but if Apple's Lightning connector change is anything to go by these won't be used for long. And like the Lightning connector Type-C USB should work either way up with an 8.4mm by 2.6mm connector end.

Type-C USB 3.1 will have a similar sized end to the smaller end of current USB 2.0 cables, except it will be like that at both ends. This is an 18-pin connector which, it’s claimed, will last the same 10,000 cycles as Micro-USB does.

Better data bandwidth

Type-C USB 3.1 is compatible with up to 10Gbps data transfer rates. That means a full movie can be transferred in a single second, theoretically. With wireless data being used more often but being limited, this new USB standard may cause a resurgence of cable connection use as super high-speed data rates are required for things like gaming on tablets connected to TVs.

The Type-C USB connector has been designed so that it can be scaled with future developments in speed meaning the shape itself shouldn't need to change again for a long time.

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