Is USB-C Here to Stay?

August 8, 2018 Ingram Micro

What was once considered universal amongst all laptops, tablets, and smartphones is evolving again which raises the question, is USB-C here to stay? The latest technology devices have swapped out the standard Type-A USB ports and replaced them with smaller, oval-shaped connectors that are essentially universal across all forms of technology. However, many are still wondering if USB-C is a temporary transition into something better or if it’ll hold precedence for many years to come.

What is USB-C?

USB-C is a new, smaller connector for the Universal Serial Bus that offers super-fast connections across a number of technology standards, such as USB power delivery and USB 3.1. Unlike the rectangular USB connectors, the industry has used predominantly prior to this upgrade, USB-C are tiny, oblong connectors with a mere size of 0.33 x 0.1 inches. It’s slightly larger than the micro USB B connectors that many smartphones and tablets have used in the recent past and offers exponential possibilities in terms of performance and speed.

Is USB-C the same as USB 3.1?

A common question being asked about the USB-C connector and port is whether or not they’re the same as USB 3.1. The short answer is no. While USB-C cables and ports can support the USB 3.1 standard, depending on the device being used, it may only be compatible with USB 2.0 or USB 3.0.

The Power of USB-C Connectors

In addition to the smaller size, USB-C connectors offer revolutionary fast speeds and performance. One major feature of the USB-C connectors is the ability to send simultaneous video signals and power streams. This means that you connect to almost every device, assuming you have the right adapter and cables. USB-C connectors even include audio transmission. Though they have not yet replaced the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, the capability is certainly there.

Additionally, USB-C connectors support Thunderbolt 3 which adds 40Gbps bandwidth and the ability to use up to 100 watts of power, while also reducing power consumption. In other words, it’s the process of using a single cable to power and transfer a large amount of data to and from complex computing devices. Inarguably, this is revolutionary for the business industry.

USB-C Connectors are Universal

With the right adapters or cables, the USB-C connector is essentially compatible with every device and connector out there, making it the first universal USB. You can use USB-C to connect and power any native HDMI, MHL, or DisplayPort device, as well as to charge tablets and smartphones, transfer data to complex computing systems, and to optimize docking procedures – only to name a few examples.

Not only that but most tech brands are following suit. Apple’s MacBook comes with a USB-C connector; Google’s Chromebook Pixel has two USB-C ports, SanDisk has announced its first USB-C flash drive, and LaCie is releasing the first USB-C external hard drive.

Inarguably, the tech industry and the way data is shared is changing.

While you can still find many tech devices that use other alternatives to USB-C, the latest options are being released with USB-C ports, which hints at a revolutionary change that is expected to take precedence over the next couple of years – if not, earlier. It’s similar to the times of a floppy disk. Computing systems started releasing products with a CD ROM, prior to CDs being the popular option. Soon enough, floppy disks were entirely ruled out. The same is expected of USB-C , ruling out all previous USB connectors moving forward. With that said, there are ways that you can ensure your old devices don’t get left behind. The tech industry has been anticipating this transition and working to ensure end users can seamlessly connect their new devices in existing environments. Manufacturers, like StarTech.com, who provide the most comprehensive product offering for USB-C, have developed adapters, cables and docking stations to ensure you’re never left without a connectivity option for your new device. 

Ready to upgrade your device? Start building your USB-C connectivity toolkit with the help of Ingram Micro and StarTech.com here.

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