Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » U »

USB-C

USB-C is the commonly-used, shortened reference to the USB Type-C specification, which defines a small reversible-plug connector for USB devices. USB-C is smaller than the traditional USB-A connector, at 2.6 millimeters tall vs. 7.5 millimeters for the USB-A connector, making it an increasingly popular choice for smartphones, tablets and laptops.

USB-C is sometimes confused with the USB 3.1 standard, as the two are typically used together on newer mobile devices. USB-C addresses only the physical connection, though, whereas the USB 3.1 and earlier standards (USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0) specify the speed and features of the connection.

UBS-C Supports USB Plus Power and Display

USB-C was released by the USB Implementers Forum in July 2013, and in addition to supporting USB 3.1 and earlier USB specs, it also supports DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, and power transfer. This means the same cable can be used for quick data transfer, powering USB devices, charging batteries in mobile devices, and connecting displays via HDMi, DisplayPort or VGA.

USB-C first debuted on the 2015 edition of Apple's MacBook, and there are rumors of USB-C replacing the Lightning connector on the upcoming iPhone 7. Adoption of USB-C is expected to continue to ramp up at a rapid pace over 2016 and beyond.

USB-C Debuts Symmetrical Design in Departure from Earlier USB Connectors

While the earlier USB-A and USB-B connectors featured an asymmetrical design that could only be plugged in in one direction, the USB-C connectors are similar to Apple's Lightning connector in that they can be plugged in without needing to concern yourself with orientation -- i.e. there isn't a right-side-up or upside-down orientation for the connector as there is in the earlier USB connectors.

Additionally, the USB Type-C cables have the same connector on both ends, so either end can be plugged into an electronic device or power source. The symmetrical design of the USB-C connector and the versatility of the specification are two of the primary reasons it's expected to have a rapid rate of adoption on mobile devices from a wide variety of manufacturers.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »