The design for the new reversible USB interface – the standardised connection for data transfers between electronic devices – has been finished.
The USB Type-C specification establishes a new cable and connector scheme tailored to fit mobile device product designs, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets.
It means users will no longer have to worry which way round the part is facing when plugging it into a device.
The new USB Type-C is small enough for mobiles but “robust enough for laptops and tablets”, its designers said.
But the new USB cables will not connect into the current ports that are found on millions of devices.
The new Type-C standard will be similar in size to the current MicroUSB connector, typically used for charging mobile phones and cameras. It will also allow data speed transfers of up to 10 gigabits per second, double what is possible at the moment.
“In addition to the trend of smaller and more mobile devices driving reduced connector sizes, customers expect ease of use, excellent performance, and high reliability in connectivity solutions,” said Tom Bonola, who works for HP and is part of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group.
The new reversible USB is similar to Apple’s Lightning cable, which is reversible and has been standard in all of its iOS phones and tablets for several years.
The first USB cables were released in the mid-1990s and, until now, could only be plugged in one way to ensure a data connection.