Archive for September, 2016

A USB Type-C connector doesn’t mean it necessarily delivers 10 Gbps and 100W

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
A USB Type-C connector doesn't mean it necessarily delivers 10Gbps and 100W

A USB Type-C connector doesn't mean it necessarily delivers 10 Gbps and 100W

Many people seem to have USB 3.1 confused with USB Type-C™ when in fact, they are separate specifications. Type-C is a connector specification that channels either Thunderbolt (used with Apple products) or USB 3.1. USB-PD is yet another, separate USB specification, but for power delivery. USB-PD is compatible with Type-C connectors, but may or may not be present in a USB cable with Type-C connectors.

Besides the confusion over Type-C connectors, there is more than one name for the same USB technology.

USB 3.1 is also known as Superspeed 10Gbps (formerly SuperSpeed+), or USB 3.1 Gen 2. But just because the cable has a Type-C connector, it does not mean that it operates at 10Gbps. It operates at 10Gbps if it is certified USB and has the SS+ USB mark on the cable itself.

Also Known As: Also Known As: Top Speed: Works with Type-C Connector?
USB 2.0 Hi-speed 480Mbps Yes. Look for SS or SS+ on the cable or connector if you want higher than 480Mbps
USB 3.0 USB 3.1 Gen 1 SuperSpeed 5Gbps Yes
USB 3.1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 SuperSpeed 10Gbps 10Gbps Yes

Specification

Also Known As

Also Known As

Top Speed

Works with Type-C Connector?

USB 2.0

Hi-speed

480 Mbps

Yes. Look for SS or SS+ on the cable or connector if you want higher than 480Mbps

USB 3.0

USB 3.1 Gen 1

SuperSpeed

5 Gbps

Yes

USB 3.1

USB 3.1 Gen 2

SuperSpeed 10Gbps

10 Gbps

Yes


USB Type-C cables will replace the standard USB Type-A and -B cables with an identical, symmetrical connector on both ends of the cable, and it won’t matter which end you plug in first, because the cable is set up to self-determine the orientation. That’s a very good thing. But USB Type-C connectors may or may not support power delivery, just like some USB 2.0 cables are only meant for charging, not data transmission. USB was meant to be uncomplicated and “just work” when you plug it in, and for the most part, they do. USB Type-C is a connector, not a speed, so take care to look for the SS or SS+ USB symbols on the cable if you want to take full advantage of your SuperSpeed+ devices. As for USB Power Delivery, USB-PD chargers will be getting a certification logo. If you are concerned about buying a Type-C cable that’s good, you can look at http://www.usb.org/kcompliance/view/USB to find a list of certified cables. Now all we need is a mobile phone app that can take a bar code scan and immediately identify if it’s certified and what it is certified to do. The specification that was supposed to make connectivity easier has a few wrinkles to iron out.