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Definition: USB Type C

The latest USB connector, introduced in 2014. Using a plug and socket slightly larger than Micro USB, Type C was designed to replace all USB connectors. Within a year, various Android phones switched from Micro USB to Type C. See USB.

More Speed and Power
USB Type C supports multi-lane USB 3.2, which increased the transfer rate to 20 Gbps. At the base level, USB-C supports 5 volts at 3 amps, but ports can implement up to 20 volts at 5 amps (100 watts). See USB Power Delivery and USB 3.2.

Alternate Modes for Video
USB Type C also supports alternate modes for common video interfaces such as HDMI, MHL and DisplayPort. For example, a single C-to-C cable from laptop to monitor could send DisplayPort signals to the monitor while the monitor charges the laptop. See HDMI, MHL and DisplayPort.

Beware of Non-Compliant A-to-C Cables
USB Type C devices can draw more current than earlier Type A ports can deliver. Therefore, if a Type C device is used with a Type A 2.0 or 3.0 port, the cable should have a 56K Ohm resistor to prevent the port or computer from being damaged.

Type C Is Reversible
USB Type C (right) is smaller than the traditional Type A. USB-C is also reversible and can be plugged into the port in either orientation. See reversible plug.

USB-C Is Replacing Micro USB
The first USB Type C implementations were smartphones. For example, in 2017, Samsung switched its Galaxy line from Micro USB to USB-C.

The Mess
USB Type C was designed to replace all previous USB connectors. Apple also switched its proprietary ports to Type C. The A-to-B host-to-peripheral interface is expected to become obsolete because USB-C ports can recognize which side is which (see USB Type B).

Storage That Plugs Into A and C
Kingston's microDuo USB drive plugs into Type A and C. (Image courtesy of Kingston Technology Corporation, www.kingston.com)

Conversion to Type C
As soon as USB Type C debuted, conversion cables for existing USB ports came on the market.

A Different Type A and C in Europe
The standard electrical outlet in Europe is Type C, but it has nothing to do with USB. (Image courtesy of Recreational Equipment, Inc., www.rei.com)