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USB 3.1 Type-C is not just a simple plug

USB 3.1 Type-C is not just a simple plug

2019-09-25

At CES Asia recently held in Shanghai, a well-known manufacturer displayed 18 digital accessory products with USB 3.1 Type-C interface. The product categories include charger, mobile power, data cable, USB docking station, etc. It can be said that it covers almost all usage scenarios related to the USB interface. This is reminiscent of the fact that in the past six months, IT giants such as Nokia, Apple, and Google have begun to carry Type-C interfaces on their products, and use it as an important selling point and promotion point; even in Google I/O. At the conference, Google announced that Android M will also support the Type-C interface...


These can not help but let us think, why a small interface will attract so many people's attention? Is the Type-C interface that is in the limelight in the world going to the world and setting off a big trend in changing the data interface of the entire industry?

Compromise and pioneering of USB 3.1

The USB (Universal Serial Bus) standard is proposed to regulate the connection and communication between computers and external devices; it started from the initial version of version 1.0 in 1996, the version of version 2.0 in 2000, and the year 2008. The 3.0 version was updated and finally became the latest state in the 3.1 version of 2013. In addition to the internal technical updates such as faster data transfer speed, enhanced scalability, and faster current transfer, each generation of USB standard updates has a point that consumers can intuitively understand: that is, changes in interface standards.


In the latest USB 3.1 standard, there are three interface styles, one is Type-A (that is, Standard-A, the most common USB interface style on traditional computers), and the other is Type-B (both Micro-B, Samsung Galaxy Note 3). The interface style is equipped, and the other is Type-C (the interface style of the newly designed design mentioned in this article).


From the naming of the three interface styles, we can also intuitively feel that the developers of the USB 3.1 standard (USB IF Association) are also trying to simplify and unify the current types of interfaces. Simply put, the USB IF Association has selected the most widely used of the nearly ten USB interfaces currently in existence, named Type-A and Type-B, and then redesigned a new interface. It is named Type-C; only these three interfaces can support various data standards such as data transmission speed and current transmission size under the USB 3.1 standard.


In fact, USB is a standard for technology. Every new version is developed based on the technical update to consider compatibility issues with previous generations. From the perspective of interface standards, Type-A styles are theoretically compatible with almost all USB-equipped computers from the birth of USB (except for the newly released Macbook Air and Chromebook Pixel in 2015) because Type-A is USB 3.1. Each of the previous versions was determined to be the only USB interface type that was connected to the computer.


Type-B is compatible with and compatible with the Mcrin-B interface under the USB 3.0 version. Not only that, the Type-B female port (the female port, the English name is receptacle, refers to the inserted interface end on the device) It can be unilaterally compatible with all existing Android phones equipped with a Micro-USB male port (public port, English name Plug, corresponding to the female port, refers to the interface used to insert the female port).


Therefore, it can be said that among the three interfaces of the USB 3.1 standard, the existence of Type-A and Type-B is more to consider the problem of backward compatibility and unification of existing interfaces. In a sense, the existence of the two is also a compromise of the new standard for the past; of course, this compromise is necessary.


Only Type-C is the most brilliant creation of USB 3.1. Its groundbreaking is not only reflected in the improvement of the previous technical standards, but also more concentrated in its unprecedented appearance; this style is brand new and completely future-oriented. It is precisely because of this that Type-C has received the attention of the world at the design stage; when it finally became published, it has aroused many discussions and expectations.


Today, it has changed from a design concept to a product that people can use.


The humanity that finally arrived

From a design concept to a final product, Type-C is not only valued by USB 3.1 standard setters, but also attracts the attention of equipment manufacturers and ordinary consumers. The reason why it is concerned is because its design itself is to deal with the more important and efficient data transmission related efficiency, diversity, simplicity, mobility and ease of use in the future development of the entire electronic consumer products industry. Sexual issues.


The following characteristics of Type-C determine that it is destined to represent the future of the data interface.


More efficient data transfer capabilities. Cross-device data transmission is the essence of USB existence; so the first problem to be solved in each generation of USB standard improvement is the problem of data transmission speed and efficiency. Under the USB 3.1 standard supported by Type-C, the theoretical transmission speed of data has been increased from 480Mbps (equivalent to 60MB per second) in the USB 2.0 era to 10Gbps (equivalent to 1280MB per second), and the data transmission loss rate is also The 20% of USB3.0 dropped to 3%. These ensure that the data transmission efficiency can not only meet the information transmission needs of today, but also can be used in the future.


More rich scalability. The computer can be connected to almost all external devices via USB, but in the transmission of audio and video, USB 3.0 and its previous versions can only stay at the full HD level of 1080P, while the Type-C under the USB 3.1 standard The interface can transfer up to 4K display screens. 4K TVs have appeared on the market today, and the configuration of mobile phone screens has entered the 2K era and is constantly improving; and the emergence of USB 3.1 and Type-C corresponds to this trend.


Stronger power supply capability. The power supply capability of the Type-C interface under the USB 3.1 standard can reach up to 20V/5A, which can not only meet the requirements of mobile phone charging, but also meet the charging requirements of tablet devices and computers. In addition, under this power supply capability, it can also be eliminated. Other external devices with higher power consumption require the trouble of connecting another power supply.


As mentioned above, the Type-C interface is based on the technical characteristics of the USB 3.1 standard; for the Type-C interface, in addition to meeting the above advanced technical features, there are other more obvious and common consumers. Style features that are more closely related.


A slimmer shape. Compared with the large size of Type-A and the large width of Type-B, the size of Type-C is about 8.3mm×2.5mm, which is more suitable for people's thickness in mobile devices such as notebooks, tablets and mobile phones. The more demanding the requirements. Especially for mobile phones, there are already several models that have exceeded the limit of 5mm in the thickness of the body to reach 4.75mm, and the thickness of the next generation iPhone may be 4.3mm. Even so, this is more than enough for a Type-C with a thickness of 2.5mm.


Both the front and the back can be inserted. This feature is also the most popular point of Type-C, and it is the most user-friendly place compared with other interfaces; it solves the problem of "USB can never be inserted" in any device such as computer or tablet, mobile phone and so on.


In short, the Type-C interface fully satisfies the needs of the present and even the future, both in the development of technology that the industry itself pays more attention to, and in the ease of use and humanization that consumers care about; The product is driven by this pursuit. At the same time, under the demonstration effect of the top-C interface of top brands such as Nokia, Apple and Google, it will definitely form a big trend of Type-C in the future.

The arrival of the era of data movement

Speaking of this, the future development trend of Type-C can come to an end for the time being; the next thing to talk about is that behind the Type-C interface is designed and placed high hopes, there is actually more profound significance.


As mentioned earlier, the USB standard is based on a basic idea of standardizing the connection and communication between computers and other external devices. Another meaning of this concept is to use computers as data distribution centers and other external devices for data. Disperse point. These different data scatter points through the data distribution center of the computer to complete the data acquisition, transmission, display, exchange and other work; the nature of these work is of course the data transfer, but due to the type of equipment, delivery methods, information volume, etc. The different ways, thus forming a variety of different ways. In order to ensure that data can still communicate with the computer while allowing these differences to exist, a basic data transfer specification is required; this specification is the USB standard that people later realized and developed.


This concept is also in the style of the USB interface. Since the era of USB 1.0, people have designed the Type-A interface style adopted by the USB 3.1 standard for this data distribution center - computer (of course, this time is not the title), and this interface style has experienced USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and even USB 3.0 three-generation standard update, still stubbornly survived in this world and ruled the actual USB interface type of most computers.


On the other hand, other external devices that are data scatter points not only have their disappearances in the transformation of time, but also have their own chaotic state in the interface style. All of this is because computers have always existed in this world as the only data center that can connect to the Internet, and they also exist in people's consciousness.


In the era of USB3.1, the Type-C interface was born; this interface can not only connect to other devices such as mobile phones, tablets, etc., but it can also be directly connected to our computer. In other words, the Type-C interface can not only replace the interfaces of various mobile phones, USB flash drives, mobile power supplies, etc. that we use every day. It can even replace Type-A as the interface for data exchange of computers.


In this way, under the latest USB 3.1 standard, the computer is no longer the center of one end of many data lines, and may become a data node connected by a data line whose both ends are Type-C interfaces; It is even possible that in the future data transfer, other devices such as mobile phones and tablets are connected to each other through Type-C, leaving the computer that was once the data center unattended.


This is where the true meaning of Type-C lies. It shows a new stage in the information age - the arrival of the mobile Internet era. In this era, more and more devices - computers, mobile phones, tablets, TVs, e-book readers, and even cars - can be connected to the Internet in different ways, thus being previously used by the Type-A interface. The symbolic computer's data collection center has gradually disappeared, resulting in more equal data nodes including computers, mobile phones, and tablets. The important tool for communication between these many data nodes is the Type-C interface we just mentioned.


So, we will wait and look forward to a popular trend of the world-class Type-C interface.


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