New, Reversible USB Connector Finalized
The USB Promotors Group has finished developing the design and specifications for the USB Type-C plug and port. The Type-C connector will replace the Type-B connector (microUSB) found in most modern mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. One of the key aspects of the Type-C connector is that it is reversible and can be inserted either way (much like Apple's Lightning connector). The Type-C connector will support USB 3.1, providing for theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, and 100W of power for charging batteries. According to the USB Promoters Group, USB Type-C will be fast and powerful enough for laptops, in addition to smartphones and tablets. The Type-C connector will not be compatible with existing USB ports, but the USB Promoters Group claims an extensive array of adapters will be made available during its introduction. It's unclear how long it will take hardware manufacturers to adopt the new standard, but the USB Promoters Group is already offering companies the technical details they need to get started.
Hands On with the New USB Plug
There's a new USB connector coming that will replace both the micro-USB connector on phones, and the full-size USB connector. It's reversible like Apple's Lightning connector, and it can handle lots of electricity plus very fast data transfers.
Powermat Shows Universal Fast Charging Ring
Powermat this week showed off an early version of its forthcoming universal fast wireless charging ring for public Powermat charging stations, at locations such as Starbucks. Current charging rings come in two separate versions: Lightning for iPhones, and micro-USB for all other phones.
The Galaxy S7 Has Micro-USB for Gear VR
When Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were announced this week, many people wondered why the phones have a micro-USB port instead of the newer USB Type-C connector. The competing LG G5 and a growing number of phones at all price points this year include Type-C.
SanDisk Shows Off New USB Drive for Android Phones
SanDisk today announced the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0, a flash drive that features a standard USB connector for computers and a microUSB connector for mobile devices. Android device owners can connect the drive directly to the USB port of their phone and transfer content from the phone to the drive or vice versa.
MHL Develops HDMI Cable Compatible with USB Type-C
MHL today said it has developed an HDMI cable that is compatible with with the forthcoming Type-C USB port. Using what it calls MHL Alt Mode, a USB Type-C connector and cable can support the MHL 3 specification, which includes 4K video and multi-channel surround sound audio.