USB Type C, USB 3.1 – these names are increasingly appearing in the announcements of phones, laptops and other gadgets. Recently, even Samsung, in its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, has abandoned the old and well-known micro USB connector for the new USB Type C connector. But what is the whole USB Type C, what is USB 3.1 and what do these changes mean for us – consumers?
The equal sign between USB 3.1 and USB Type C (also known as USB-C) is a very common mistake, but in fact they are two completely independent standards. In short, the USB Type C is the name of the new type of plug, while USB 3.1 is the term referring to the data transfer rate of the USB bus. And – importantly – the USB 3.1 port does not have to be of type C at all.
The USB 3.1 standard is a bit easier to explain, so it’s a good idea to start with it. USB 3.1 comes in two varieties – Gen 1 and Gen 2. USB 3.1 Gen 1 is really USB 3.0 with a renamed name, which allows for data transfer at a rate of 5 Gb / sec. (Up to 640 MB / sec, although in practice it is less). USB 3.1 Gen 2 is a “real”, updated USB, which is twice as fast as the theory of connecting the appropriate controller, device and cable (yes, the cable also matters!) It should allow data transfer at more than 1 GB / sec. (DVD image in less than 5 seconds!). How to recognize a device compatible with the latest version of USB? After the graphics on the packaging:
Plus with SUPERSPEED and 10 Gbps signature, it means USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatibility.
The USB Type C name is based on the fact that this standard is intended to replace the familiar and well-known USB Type A and Type B. USB Type A is associated with this most typical flat USB plug:
So far, smartphones have mostly been equipped with USB micro B ports, which plug in familiar plug-ins:
There used to be plugs USB mini B:
There are also USB mini A and USB micro A ports used in devices where the USB port has a host function, as well as a separate set of plugs and micro and mini ports for transferring data at USB 3.0 speeds, but they have never gained popularity.
As you can see, we have been dealing with various types of USB ports and plugs type A and B (although we have not always been aware of it), so it is natural that it is time to use the letter C. What is important, USB Type C replaces all of the above Plugs, so (paraphrasing) is one standard to rule them all.
In short – very much. For this new data transfer plug, USB is just one of many tasks. The USB-C specification …