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USB Reversable Cable Images Emerge

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the saving-you-3-annoying-seconds-a-couple-times-a-day dept.

Intel 208

Lucas123 writes: "A presentation released today by Intel revealed images of the USB 3.1 Type-C cable and connectors, which is symmetrical and will no longer require a user to correctly orient the plug. Initially, the USB 3.1 Type-C specification will support up to 10Gbps data transfer speeds. The Type-C connectors resemble those of Apple's Thunderbolt cabling in that they are much smaller than today's USB SuperSpeed connectors. The receptacle opening is 8.3mm x 2.5mm.The first iteration will have a 5 volt power transfer rate, but it is expected to deliver up to 100 watts for higher power applications in the future."

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Reversible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643187)

Reversable? Reversible.

Re:Reversible (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643207)

No no, reversable. You're "able" to reverse it, see?

Re:Reversible (0)

x0ra (1249540) | about 8 months ago | (#46643281)

Please find any English dictionary with the "reversable" word listed. We'll be able to have a discussion after that.

Re:Reversible (4, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 8 months ago | (#46643313)

Please find one that has the explanation of a joke.

Re:Reversible (2)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 8 months ago | (#46643365)

Well, so much for the USB superposition...

Re:Reversible (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643535)

You see, it is listed:

http://www.dumbtionary.com/word/reversable.shtml

Re:Reversible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643561)

It's right next to "autistic dimwit who doesn't get lame jokes".

Re:Reversible (1)

javajawa (126489) | about 8 months ago | (#46644223)

http://www.free-dictionary-tra... [free-dicti...lation.com]

You didn't require a reputable dictionary, did you?

Re:Reversible (4, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 8 months ago | (#46643349)

I loved "The first iteration will have a 5 volt power transfer rate".

Classic.

Re:Reversible (3, Informative)

Teun (17872) | about 8 months ago | (#46643391)

Indeed. :)

And I worry about 100W @ 5V, that's 20 A!
Sounds a bit troublesome through these small connectors.

Re:Reversible (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643499)

The 100W case will be 20volts at 5amps

It's in the Intel pdf file at https://intel.activeevents.com/sz14/connect/fileDownload/session/3446B9E71F4FD3D70D8FB478DA239801/SZ14_HSTS002_100_ENGf.pdf

Re:Reversible (4, Informative)

jcdr (178250) | about 8 months ago | (#46644143)

The same document in page 14 limits the 60W and 100W profiles to the A and B type. So the C type is probably limited to 36W.
 

Re:Reversible (3, Insightful)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 8 months ago | (#46643667)

I used to worry about high currents thrown around electronics these days. I don't anymore. Check it out:

- 100 amp mosfets in TO-220 packages with the thin tab. First time I saw this I thought it's going to catch fire. Lots of cheapo UPSes work like this now, and they *do* pass hundred of amps through the flimsiest of materials. So it gets hot, so? It'll last one day past the warranty and that's all it needs to do.

- Brushless motor controllers for RC toys. 35 amps through 14 gauge wire with 200C silicone sheath. Hey, it only runs for 10 minutes anyways!

- 180 amp brushless controllers. Motors the size of a Coke can rated for 6KW. Yes 6 kilowatts. Granted, they're water cooled, but I would have thought this is the equivalent of a tankless water heater and the boat could have just worked off the steam generated!

Obviously, previous design rules WRT to current were too conservative. Look at your dryer plug, and look at a RC boat's (or any battery powered toy) connectors. But I predict fires in any case as manufacturers start counting strands in the wires...

Re:Reversible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643979)

..I work in lighting, you should see some of the LED China shit we are supposed to install - 24 channels, *all* rated at 15A, all in handy-sized marlboro package. In fairness, even the Chinese (in somewhat adventerous, badly photocopied PDF English) state that you should probably (for best results) consider mounting this crap on an 18 foot by 18 foot aluminium wall/heatsink or similar, or leave a suitable airgap, this well away from inflammable materials. About 3 miles any direction should suffice.

I often go looking for somewhat less dangerous alternatives, preferably from US/EU manufacturers - and, in fairness also to the specifiers, there are invariably none.

Re:Reversible (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 8 months ago | (#46644571)

6KW brushless motor... that's 95% efficient dissipates only 500W.
35A through 14awg wire... Yes it's a bit much, but the 90 degree rating for 14awg is continuous 25A.

If you compare mains plugs to RC plugs, you've got zinc coated contacts with a mild pressure spring contact. RC connectors are usually gold plated bullet type with a lot higher pressure.

Hey you, early USB plug apologist (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643191)

Remember when you said that a symmetrical connector with pins on both sides was too expensive?
Well get stuffed. USB plugs were badly designed from the beginning.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (3, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 8 months ago | (#46643311)

Manufacturing costs have fallen in the past 18 years.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (4, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#46643485)

A D-shaped connector - instead of a square one - would not have cost any more, and would have eliminated a LOT of frustration over the past 18 years.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 8 months ago | (#46643647)

still doesn't keep me from swearing a lot when trying to plug in an HDMI cable.

Plug makers should have to test how easy it is to plug something in with out being able to see it. Like trying to snake your arm behind a TV or large desk.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 8 months ago | (#46643867)

USB has a 'D-shaped' connector, standard Type B. People still manage to try and plug that one in wrong as well.

As it is, Type C should be seen mostly as a replacement to mini/micro A/B which (and also happens to replace regular ol' A), which are already a D shape.. just that they're fairly flattened.

There was a design for a type A plug that was double-sided, I don't think anybody ever produced a cable/product using it (probably because it would be relatively expensive to produce):
http://www.yankodesign.com/201... [yankodesign.com]

Even with Type C I'd imagine there's people who, when faced with a flat connector and a horizontally oriented port, will try to jam it in vertically.

A cylindrical connector (think headphone plugs) is the only type that can truly be inserted at any angle around the axis of revolution, but those take up a fair bit more space.

Personally I've never even tried to insert a USB plug the wrong way around.. it's not like it's impossible to see the shapes and remember for any future occurrences. Unless you're drunk, tired, stupid or any combination thereof - in which case you shouldn't be inserting tab A into slot B anyway, whether it's computer hardware, assembling IKEA furniture, or recreational activities.

Not that I mind the improvement - at least it purports to get rid of Micro USB 3.0 B.. thanks to its width vs insertion depth, that is the only one that I've found to actually be problematic at times even when inserting it the right way around.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#46644193)

Personally I've never even tried to insert a USB plug the wrong way around.. it's not like it's impossible to see the shapes and remember for any future occurrences.

My, aren't you special. I've used more than one computer where they're on the back and the wrong way up (most go with the 'trident' logo on top). I have a phone and a tablet that are the same plug but the opposite way up and it's small and recessed too.

it's not like it's impossible to see the shapes and remember for any future occurrences.

If it was properly designed, you shouldn't have to look, and if your eyesight's not brilliant that might not help anyway. As to remembering, great if you only have one machine. Not so much when you have four at home, and use many different ones at work or college.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 8 months ago | (#46644627)

My, aren't you special.

Snark aside - no, no I'm not. Certainly no more special than anybody claiming they always need to try it 3 ways :)

I've used more than one computer where they're on the back and the wrong way up (most go with the 'trident' logo on top). I have a phone and a tablet that are the same plug but the opposite way up and it's small and recessed too.

In which case for the first time around, you didn't look (perhaps you couldn't, because, well, back side of the computer and all) and for the second+ time around, you completely forgot about the first time around.

If it was properly designed, you shouldn't have to look, and if your eyesight's not brilliant that might not help anyway. As to remembering, great if you only have one machine. Not so much when you have four at home, and use many different ones at work or college.

Which just brings us back to people taking a flattened plug horizontally to a port that's oriented vertically even if the port have a 180Â symmetry.

Without seeing the back side of the computer...

Are they vertical?
http://www.computershopper.com... [computershopper.com]

Or are they horizontal?
http://images.anandtech.com/do... [anandtech.com]

I guess you could think that it's always parallel to the longest side, but then what orientation does it have when there is no longest side?
http://www.pcstats.com/article... [pcstats.com]

I guess some people would just have to try it 4 ways around.

Note that I'm in no way saying that I think the USB plugs/sockets were a great design in terms of user-experience. At the time they were certainly better than most anything out there with multiple pins. Plugging in a PS/2 plug when you couldn't see the port, now that was torture. I certainly applaud the new design (for the most part).

Ultimately though, there's always going to be people who have trouble plugging devices in - for whatever reason. Some people have trouble just plugging headsets into their phones (judging by the plethora of scratches surrounding the headphone jacks). Thankfully for them, more and more peripherals are available in wireless form.

( Well, except for the power cables. Ever try to plug a U.S. plug in the wrong way around? Easy to do if you don't check which of the pins is the broader one. The C7P (device-end) is even worse. )

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 8 months ago | (#46644213)

Elements of Firewire and VGA combining to make something not quite as good as either...

A connector where the orientation does not matter is much better than one where it matters but is slightly more discoverable than before.

Reversible is better - see loose FireWire cables. (2)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | about 8 months ago | (#46644355)

FireWire is a keyed-connector. That doesn't prevent them from being plugged in backward. As I have done on more than one occasion where the socket was "loose", allowing the keying to not work, allowing the plug to be plugged in backward.

Which promptly puts up to 45 Watts of power into the data pins.

Which tends to fry the device.

Cables that can't be plugged in wrong because there IS NO "wrong" are best - just plug it in. Don't worry about how you're plugging it in, if it seems like it will fit, it's good.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46644153)

Citation needed.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 8 months ago | (#46644577)

I purchased USB cables in both 1998 and 2014.

Re:Hey you, early USB plug apologist (5, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | about 8 months ago | (#46644015)

You obviously never had to actually deal with serial and parallel connectors and their little screws to hold them in place.
USB was a freaking godsend!
Of, things can certainly get better, but companies hate jumping into new territory and would rather do it one increment at a time, if they can't avoid changing in the first place.

Just in time for the EU charging standard? (1)

TroubleMagnet (529417) | about 8 months ago | (#46643203)

Guessing the EU universal charging standard helped push this along. The symmetric plug is a nice bonus.

Voltage != Power (4, Informative)

x0ra (1249540) | about 8 months ago | (#46643209)

I don't want to sneak peak, but "5 volt power transfer rate" makes strictly NO SENSE. The "volt" is not a unit of power...

Damn incompetent journalists ...

Re:Voltage != Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643299)

journalists... you're so funny...

Re:Voltage != Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643315)

I really wish they would up the voltage to say 12 volts or maybe 18*...It would give us a good standard for charging a lot of our power hungry devices while not requiring thicker cables. 5 Volts just means meaty cables if you want to transfer non--trivial amperage over non-trivial distance. Hell, that's why Aircraft electric motors start 400 Volts AC and up.... Thin cables for a given wattage.

* I realize the standard would have to make damn sure that it didn't power a legacy device with those voltages especially given how many devices just assume USB will never be anything over 5v.

Re:Voltage != Power (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#46643383)

I believe that's how it works - as 100W at 5V would be 20A, which would cause some problems with cables melting. Start at 5V, and a means for devices to negotiate higher voltages if the host is capable of supplying. Not all hosts will be able to - good luck getting 100W out of a tablet.

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 8 months ago | (#46643725)

Dunno, have you seen the hobby world? Change the jacket material, maybe add a few strands, and you're laughing. You may, or may not need the 20A to be continuous after all.

Check this out:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobby... [hobbyking.com]

Stuff's gettin real, y'all.

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 8 months ago | (#46643387)

Exactly.

They say 100 watts at 5 volts. This new cable will carry 20 amps?

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#46643461)

I wish people would stop using data ports and data cables for charging things.

Re:Voltage != Power (2)

Trogre (513942) | about 8 months ago | (#46644275)

I disagree. Part of the immense popularity of USB for flash drives, keyboards*, mice*, speakers and some external hard drives is that they can be powered by the data cable and not require a wall-wart to power them. So the precedent for the ports to provide power already exists.

* Yes I'm being absurd with Keyboards and Mice, but demonstrating that older interfaces like RS-232 and PS/2 also supplied power to devices.

Re:Voltage != Power (2)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46644371)

So the precedent for the ports to provide power already exists.

I think sunderland56 was referring to taking the power that the port supplies and storing it in a battery, as opposed to using the power to power the device.

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

bipbop (1144919) | about 8 months ago | (#46644433)

But why? What's wrong with charging devices this way?

Re:Voltage != Power (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 8 months ago | (#46643831)

That's in the presentation [activeevents.com] .

The voltage will be negotiable up to 12V or 20V, but the default will remain at 5V. With the right cable, you'll be able to move up to 5A at 20V. They're calling it "USB Power Delivery".

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643425)

This bucket holds 100 PSI of water!

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 8 months ago | (#46643631)

That makes perfect sense... and you only need a small bit of calculus to generate the bearing load of the container from that information.

But it'd be better in metric. Or in hogsheads.

Re:Voltage != Power (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 8 months ago | (#46643455)

From the picture, it is even worse: "5V current ranges plus USB PD."

Realistically, how many amps is thing thing going to allow? 100 watts means that those wires will handle 20 amps, and handle this factoring in voltage drops, especially with the skinny cables and tiny connectors.

Realistically, I wish the USB-C connector could start at 5 volts but negotiate to 12 volts to offset voltage drop. Higher voltages would help more, but then there will be electrocution issues past 12-24 volts depending on a lot of factors. It would be nice to push 48 volts through two wires dedicated to power because that would easily allow 100 watts... but would one trust the bottom-basement Chinese electronic junk with such a high voltage that a short or a misrouted connection doesn't fry other connections or shock the user? I wouldn't.

Even at 12 volts, 10 amps through those small wires is asking a lot, so realistically, 100 watts of power is a joke. I'd expect at most 20-25 watts unless magically the USB consortium is able to spec and deliver on superconductive wires or goes to thicker cables and connectors.

However, any improvements from the usual 2.1 amps through current USB connectors is definitely a step in the right direction.

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

jhjjhj (1228452) | about 8 months ago | (#46643801)

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org] lets devices with larger energy demands request higher currents and supply voltages from compliant hosts—up to 2 A at 5 V (for a power consumption of up to 10 W), and optionally up to 5 A at either 12 V (60 W) or 20 V (100 W).

Re:Voltage != Power (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 8 months ago | (#46643863)

Realistically, how many amps is thing thing going to allow?

They're saying 5A at 20V.

Realistically, I wish the USB-C connector could start at 5 volts but negotiate to 12 volts to offset voltage drop.

That's mostly what it's going to do. It starts at 5V, and negotiates up to 12V or 20V.

Here's the whole presentation - https://intel.activeevents.com... [activeevents.com]

Re:Voltage != Power (4, Informative)

idji (984038) | about 8 months ago | (#46643747)

IAAP (I am a physicist).
There is nothing wrong with "5 volt power transfer". It is just saying that the power (whether 100mA or 100A) is always transferred at 5 volts, and not at 0.5 V or 50V. What is strange here is the "power transfer rate". Power= "energy transfer rate". "Power change rate" would make sense when talking about power ramp up, (i.e. how many milliseconds it needs to go from 100mA to 1A).
A Type-C cable with100W racing through it sounds like a fire hazard to me.

Re:Voltage != Power (1)

adolf (21054) | about 8 months ago | (#46644191)

A Type-C cable with100W racing through it sounds like a fire hazard to me.

Since you're a physicist, you should be perfectly able to apply everything you just wrote to the notion that the potential is not necessarily 5 volts. There could be more potential than that in later iterations; TFS doesn't say.

(I, for one, have never been satisfied with the notion that USB @ 5V is all that useful as a means of powering devices.)

Doesn't matter... (1, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 8 months ago | (#46643213)

One can idiot-proof anything, until along comes a bigger idiot.

Cars have had keys that can be inserted either-side-up and I've still seen broken and jammed car door locks and ignition cylinders.

Re:Doesn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643275)

Well, if you insert a usb cable and then try to turn it 90 degrees like a car/door lock, yes, the symmetric shape won't help with that. Maybe a gun will.

Savages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643237)

Thanks for ruining a standard.

Warr the download? Warrr? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643263)

When can I 3D print some at home? It's the future after all, anything is possible.

Yay, more cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643265)

and more adapters, and they're already deprecating them: 3A current at first, more later.

100 watts?! (1, Interesting)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | about 8 months ago | (#46643279)

At 5 volts, 100 Watts is a current of 20 amps. That's a lot of current for such small connections.

Re:100 watts?! (1)

x0ra (1249540) | about 8 months ago | (#46643327)

The remaining 97.5W are just sunk through subspace :-)

Re:100 watts?! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 8 months ago | (#46643337)

It's ok, they'll make it 100 watts at 120 volts.

Re:100 watts?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643359)

The idea is to up the voltage if both host and device agree on it using a negotiation protocol upon connection. It's about time that a communications protocol replaces the stupid resistances and diodes across this or that set of pins nonsense. I'm not so sure I want 100W out of a USB port though, not even at 20V.

Re:100 watts?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643363)

They must have up the voltage...

Re:100 watts?! (0)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about 8 months ago | (#46643371)

The "100W" spec comes from the USB descriptor having enough bits to accomodate 20A. Everything else is just bad journalism.

Re:100 watts?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643569)

Wrong.
The "100W" comes from the USB-PD spec. up to 20V at up to 5A.

Re:100 watts?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643377)

By electrical code, that would be minimum an 12 Gauge wire. That would make for some pretty thick USB cables.
I would imagine that in later iterations they would have to increase the voltage.

Re:100 watts?! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 8 months ago | (#46643389)

To handle 20 amps, you usually use 12 gauge wire. That's more than 2mm across.

I don't see any way that they will be able to put 20 amps through that tiny connector without melting it.

Re:100 watts?! (1)

Rob Hostetter (2908585) | about 8 months ago | (#46643513)

It depends greatly on the length. 14 gauge wire can handle 20A with a short enough wire. The issue is the resistance of the wire. 100 watts is not very high and 18 gauge wire can handle that for short lengths easily, whether it's 20A at. 5V or 5A at 20V it should be fine for the lengths we're talking about.

Re:100 watts?! (2)

v1 (525388) | about 8 months ago | (#46643789)

the current carrying capacity is also dependent on the voltage and the frequency. Frequency is probably not an issue here, but the voltage may be a factor.

Huh. I learned a new term today.... Ampacity [wikipedia.org]

Re:100 watts?! (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 8 months ago | (#46643793)

Let go of the past. Breathe in the new world of 60 amp connectors in RC boats, etc..

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobby... [hobbyking.com]

60 amps. It's not that tiny, but it's just the size of the wire. Granted, the surface are of a barrel connector is quite high.

Re:100 watts?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643429)

If I remember the USB-PD spec correctly, that 100w figure is at something like 20v

Obligatory XKCD (3, Insightful)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | about 8 months ago | (#46643339)

Cable types dying (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 8 months ago | (#46644511)

You know, through my life I think I get roughly 3-5 new connector types for every one that finally dies?

I'm up to 5 USB connectors, but I don't have a parallel port in the house anymore. Still have as serial port. My computers still have the dedicated PS2 style mouse/keyboard ports, but at least I don't have the big one anymore. On the other hand on the video side I have VGA, HDMI, DVI, D-Port, S-Video, coax, RCA, component, etc... Maybe I'll get rid of the S-Video soon.

Volts vs Watts? (1)

pardasaniman (585320) | about 8 months ago | (#46643375)

"The first iteration will have a 5 volt power transfer rate, but it is expected to deliver up to 100 watts for higher power applications in the future."

Why are we comparing a 5volt transfer rate to 100watts in the same sentence? Sooo confused!!

Re:Volts vs Watts? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 8 months ago | (#46643641)

"The first iteration will have a 5 volt power transfer rate, but it is expected to deliver up to 100 watts for higher power applications in the future."

Why are we comparing a 5volt transfer rate to 100watts in the same sentence? Sooo confused!!

What's so confusing? Don't you have a 100W intertube connection at your house? I do. Pretty sweet. Only $50/month too, with unlimited wattage uploads!

I do pay a little extra for the 50-gallon bit bucket, but they say it helps with Netflix caching.

Ugh, still using a post in the socket? (0)

Guspaz (556486) | about 8 months ago | (#46643407)

Why do they insist on putting a post inside the socket? They end up making both the socket and the connector more delicate. Instead of the connector being one solid piece and the socket being just an empty socket, it means the connector has to be hollow, and more prone to damage. The correct solution here was not to just make micro B symmetrical and cram more pins on it...

All you had to do was make something similar to Apple's lightning connector, not to compound the existing problems.

Re:Ugh, still using a post in the socket? (0)

aiken_d (127097) | about 8 months ago | (#46643693)

Damned if you obviously copy Apple, damned if you intentionally go with the inferior solution that Apple rejected.

Why still male-female ends? (3, Informative)

InfiniteLoopCounter (1355173) | about 8 months ago | (#46643439)

Seriously, why can't we have cables that fit into each other as well as be symmetrical. Oh wait, that's thanks to the patent system [google.com] . At least this is progress and maybe we will have one standard for most types of application (not holding my breath).

Re:Why still male-female ends? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643607)

Is that patent not expired? Besides, this patent defines hardware, exactly the thing the patent system was designed for.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (3, Informative)

Necroman (61604) | about 8 months ago | (#46643645)

The linked patent expired in 2006, so that specific one isn't an issue in this case. Also, round connectors in general are a pain to line up properly and connect.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (2)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 8 months ago | (#46643843)

I worry that there appears to be a tab on the new socket that I assume fits into the new cable. I've seen way to many mini USB ports break on phones due to that.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46643905)

Seriously, why can't we have cables that fit into each other as well as be symmetrical.

The one you've linked to isn't symmetrical. My brain's aching a bit just trying to work out if it's even possible with multiple pins and the requirement for good electrical contact. Plus you don't want to increase the complexity of the controllers if you can help.

If it is possible it might have to be circular, which would be wasteful of space. It might also require an increase in controller complexity. I don't know, it's late.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46644151)

Hold out your right hand and hold your left near you. Now imagine someone doing the same. Now walk towards each other so that you touch hands. These are symmetric in that they're the same. They are vertically symmetric and they fit together. Can be extended to a circle and can lock in place.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46644155)

Considering the abuse, Apple should lose its patent to its MagSafe connector. Then, maybe somebody can build a reliable one that won't fry.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (2)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 8 months ago | (#46644343)

Seriously, why can't we have cables that fit into each other as well as be symmetrical. Oh wait, that's thanks to the patent system [google.com]. At least this is progress and maybe we will have one standard for most types of application (not holding my breath).

One person replying to you already pointed out that this patent expired in 2006.

Even more importantly, this was a design patent. It only covers the ornamental design for a device or article of manufacture. If you're reading it to cover something functional, such as symmetry of the cable connector, then you're doing it wrong. Make a symmetrical cable connector that doesn't look like that (round with a double-diamond pin configuration), and I virtually guarantee that any competent patent lawyer could have an infringement lawsuit thrown out on the cheap on summary judgment.

Re:Why still male-female ends? (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 8 months ago | (#46644663)

Because extender cables are not allowed under the USB spec anyway.

So making a cable which can be extended easily is counterproductive.

The reason for this is signal integrity.

Who the fuck wrote this piece of shit? (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 8 months ago | (#46643443)

"The first iteration will have a 5 volt power transfer rate, but it is expected to deliver up to 100 watts for higher power applications in the future."

That's a magnificent sentence there!

I have no idea what a 5 volt power transfer rate is. 5 volts is an electric potential. Power isn't transferred either, power is an instantaneous quantity, whose effect is work (or energy if you prefer). In a DC circuit, power is defined by the product of potential and current, meaning "5V" is meaningless as a description of power, just as "10N" is useless to define a torque.

Add to that the fact that 100W at 5V implies 20A implies that the 100W will not be available at 5V. 20A require enormous (by computing standards) cables.

Re:Who the fuck wrote this piece of shit? (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 8 months ago | (#46644231)

20A require enormous (by computing standards) cables.

Not really, at least not if we're talking about a short cable that's only meant to be temporarily connected (usually with a user nearby) and not in direct contact with anything highly flammable.

Building codes require fat wires for 20A, but that's a whole different situation with much longer runs of cable and higher stakes in terms of damage if something goes wrong.

Please don't let this be a joke (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 8 months ago | (#46643833)

I hope this is well past any April 1 silliness.

If this actually makes it to market, then halle-frickin-lujah. Not a moment too soon so far as I am concerned, to fix a major design flaw in USB connectors.

Cables do not actually transfer 100W (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643883)

From the report: file:///C:/Users/Mike/Downloads/SZ14_HSTS002_100_ENGf.pdf

Page 11:
- Power Delivery Capacity: 3A for standard cables, 5A for connectors.
- Enhanced power delivery options - Extended 5V current ranges plus USB PD

Page 13:
- Enabled higher voltage and current in order to deliver power up to 100W
- Limits to match cable capabilities
- Upper limit bound by international safety requirements

So theoretically it can push higher voltage, but not with the current cables.

Re:Cables do not actually transfer 100W (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46644585)

From the report: file:///C:/Users/Mike/Downloads/SZ14_HSTS002_100_ENGf.pdf

Page 11:
- Power Delivery Capacity: 3A for standard cables, 5A for connectors.
- Enhanced power delivery options - Extended 5V current ranges plus USB PD

Page 13:
- Enabled higher voltage and current in order to deliver power up to 100W
- Limits to match cable capabilities
- Upper limit bound by international safety requirements

So theoretically it can push higher voltage, but not with the current cables.

So how do the devices know the cable capabilities? That doesn't sound cheap if it needs smart cables now :(

s/Thunderbolt/Lightning/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46643889)

"The Type-C connectors resemble those of Apple's Thunderbolt cabling"

Ahem, Thunderbolt uses mini displayport connectors which are not reversable.

You're thinking of lightning, the one used on iPads/iPhones/etc.

"3A for standard cables, 5A for connectors" (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 8 months ago | (#46643925)

That gives a lowball 15 watts figure at 5 volts, which is pretty nice given I have a few 2.5 watt USB chargers around (and a mains-to-USB adapter that gives only 2.5 watts as well)
The worst case is a useful metric, it seems to define applications other than your specialty mobile computing device : e-cigs and other little things. The standard would be a nice 6x increase, if USB C is on both ends (and some minimal electronics handle it in the device)

You'll be able to power a meaningful amplified speaker with that level of power output.. Or going to 12V, you have enough for a class D amplifier that will fill the room with sound if connected to an adequate set of speakers. I do actually have an amplifier powered by a 12V, 3A power supply, use hifi-styled speakers with 90dB sensibilty and it's loud enough for movies, parties, whatever (sound quality and clarity ridiculously high as well).
Up ti 20V operation would be good for amps that take 24 volts but can work at 19V (laptop PSU) or less.

I hope it's made clear that you can still transmit data when power is at 12 volt, because you know, if you are going to output sound from a laptop it'd better be through USB audio.

Quick tip - USB logo is always on the top (1)

SensitiveMale (155605) | about 8 months ago | (#46644089)

So when you plug in a cable, the logo on the top is always correct. When it is a sideways plug, you are on your own. :)

Re:Quick tip - USB logo is always on the top (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about 8 months ago | (#46644157)

Except when the OEM puts the USB slot in upside down. Like the Nexus 7. Or the front USB slots on a lot of desktops.

Upside-down USB receptacles (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46644555)

So when you plug in a cable, the logo on the top is always correct.

This is true unless the receptacle was mounted upside-down. This means the top of the receptacle points toward the bottom of the device. I've owned a couple Dell Dimension PCs whose front USB ports were upside-down, and my Archos 43 Internet Tablet's USB port is upside-down. And you're right that sideways plugs can be a pain, such as the B receptacle on a Seagate hard drive enclosure or both USB receptacles (A host for controllers, micro-B device for debugging) on an OUYA console.

Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46644181)

a cable my GF might actually be able to plug in. Assuming she can identifiy the right hole of course. What we really need is a USB cable that works in the Ethernet port...

How Long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46644259)

So how long will it be before Apple sues?

Finally! (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#46644285)

A USB standard without a quantum third state!

JUNK. (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46644311)

thin little thing inside to break. Complete fail. they just need to do a copy of the fraking lightning connector but made some technology advances to it. Apple does not have a patent on exposed pin connectors.

Apple got the lightning connector right, just give us a USB3.0 version of the fracking thing and put the craptastic mini/micro/and nano usb plugs to death already.

Power delivery is good at data transmission. (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 8 months ago | (#46644361)

From page 18 of this document: https://intel.activeevents.com... [activeevents.com]

"The PD communication channel is an RF system:
- 23.2 MHz DFSK with a nominal deviation of 500kHz"

So the VBUS/GND pair alone can be enough to transmit data than USB LS (1 Mbps) and USB FS (12 Mbps). I see this a a very interesting solution: a standard to deliver negotiated power and mid range data rate using only 2 wires. If only the USB PD will allow a broadcast topology, I see a lot of possible applications...

The frequency of the power delivery is so high that an antenna could maybe be enough to transmit wireless data, without power. LOL

Symmetrical around which axis? (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 8 months ago | (#46644477)

How about making the connector's conductors co-axial so that you can plug it in on any angle?

Too Small (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46644521)

Call me sloppy or whatever but that connector is a bit too tiny for my taste. One thing I like about regular USB connectors is that they feel solid and resistant to strain.

I have to set up my laptop at home everyday and that includes plugging all four USB ports with peripherals(mouse, keyboard, headset, external drive), if they are all tiny and fiddly I'll break them in no time.

I hope USB A ports stick around on new computers (1)

big_e_1977 (2012512) | about 8 months ago | (#46644553)

Micro B can die. That connector design sucks that bad. However, I really hope that USB A still sticks around and the new laptops/desktops continue to come with those ports. I've got tons of keyboards, mice, joysticks lying around and I don't want to have to stock tons of A to C adapters to continue to use them with new computers. USB A is also pretty sturdy and can take tons of abuse.

The USB A connector is also highly ubiquitous. Now we are going to have 2 physically incompatible USB ports present on computers. That would be a first for the USB spec. Previously the connector only varied on the peripheral device, not the host. If you have an USB thumb drive or want to charge your phone off of some random computer you may have to take into consideration whether or not it has any type A or type C ports on them. I'm not looking forward to that problem.

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