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What Is USB-C?

USB is an industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power on a single cable. The USB-C connector looks similar to a micro-USB connector at first glance, though it’s closer to oval in shape and slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: flippability.

Like Apple’s Lightning ports, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation. Line up the connector properly, and you never have to flip it over to plug it in; the “right way” is always up. The standard cables also have the same connector on both ends, so you don’t have to figure out which end goes where.

USB-C Connector Port

The USB-C connector was developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard over the years. The USB-IF counts more than 700 companies in its membership, among them Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung. As a result, many new devices in a huge variety of tech categories come with USB-C ports. Hard drives, smartphones, and smart home devices all use USB-C for charging batteries, transferring data, or both.

Thanks both to wide adoption and an impressive range of capabilities, USB-C is quickly becoming a single port to rule them all. The oval-shaped port and associated connectors can transmit data at speeds up to 20Gbps (the exact speed ceiling depends on the specific USB SuperSpeed rating of the port) and deliver close to 100 watts of power to charge a device’s battery. In some cases, it can also transmit DisplayPort audio and video signals, letting you connect your device to an external monitor or TV. (The specific USB-C port in question needs to support DisplayPort over USB.)
Not every device with a USB-C port can do all of these things, of course. A USB hard drive can’t output a video signal. It simply uses USB-C for a bit of power and sending or receiving data, while an Apple iPad uses USB-C to charge its battery, sync with your PC or Mac, and output video. One port, lots of implementations and uses.

Source: PCMag

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