USB 3.1 New Design, Features And Specifications

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become a defacto standard for hot pluggable devices. By using a USB port, you can easily plug-in a device without turning off your system. The USB device will get detected automatically after being plugged in. This capability was first introduced in Apple’s FireWire ports but the USB standard more popular and widely adapted and used.

The design of standard USB port has been the same from the beginning. USB 1.1 became very popular and then came USB 2.0 standard which was faster than USB 1.1. Most recently, USB 3.0 standard is being used in most modern devices which promises visible performance improvements over its predecessor. Let’s discuss about what are future plans after USB 3.0.

Usb connectors 570x180 - USB 3.1 New Design, Features And Specifications

What is Type-C Connector?

There are two major types of USB connectors, type A connector and type B connector. Type A is the most used connector which we see in our computers and laptops by default. It comes in rectangular shape. Type B connector is a square connector.

USB Connectors Type A and Type B 570x126 - USB 3.1 New Design, Features And Specifications

Type A and Type B connectors are further divided into standard, mini and micro connectors.

Mini and Micro USB Type A and Type B Connectors 570x137 - USB 3.1 New Design, Features And Specifications

With the passage of time, the need for a new connector type has arisen which will be able to meet requirements for smaller devices. The problem with USB ports and connectors is that they can only be plugged in one direction. If a user plugs in opposite, the connector will get damaged. The new specification of USB connector is called Type C connector which is still being designed. It will get rid of this limitation of one directional plugging in of USB devices. Type C connectors will be bidirectional meaning that the user will be able to plugin in the USB cable without it being straight or upside down.

Features of USB 3.1

According to the new announcement by USB.org, the USB 3.1 connectors will include the following features:

  1. An entirely new design which will feature bidirectional plugging in of USB devices so that the user doesn’t need to take care of which way the USB cable is being plugged in.
  2. USB 3.1 will be smaller than the current standards being used for USB. This will enable slimmer and sleeker product designs of USB enabled devices.
  3. Type C connector and cable will support scalable power charging.
  4. Scalability – the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance.

Unfortunately there is not photo available of USB 3.1 connectors and cables. The new design of USB 3.1 should be available by the end of 2014. We have high hopes that the new USB design and specification will open a new era for USB powered devices. You can get more information on this USB 3.1 design from the PDF files here and here.