USB Type-C is a physical connector which can support various exciting new USB standards like USB 3.1, USB PD etc. The standard USB connector which is USB Type-A, even as we’ve moved from USB 1 to USB 2 to USB 3 devices, that connector has remained the same. You have to make sure it’s oriented correctly when you plug it in.

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What is USB Type C:

USB Type-C is a 24-pin reversible plug connector for USB devices and USB cabling. It is developed almost at the same time as the USB 3.1 was, but a bit different from it, the Type-C 1.0 has a small reversible plug connector for USB devices. The cable itself has USB Type-C connectors at both ends — it’s all one connector.

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For exact technical details, according to Wikipedia,

“The Type-C plug connects to both hosts and devices, replacing various Type-B and Type-A connectors and cables with a standard meant to be future-proof. The 24-pin double-sided connector is similar in size to the Micro-B USB connector, with a type-C port measuring 8.4 millimetres (0.33 in) by 2.6 millimetres (0.10 in). The connector provides four power/ground pairs, two differential pairs for USB 2.0 data bus (though only one pair is implemented in a Type-C cable), four pairs for high-speed data bus, two “sideband use” pins, and two configuration pins for cable orientation detection, dedicated biphase mark code (BMC) configuration data channel, and VCONN +5 V power for active cables. Connecting an older device to a host with a Type-C receptacle requires a cable or adapter with a Type-A or Type-B plug or receptacle on one end and a Type-C plug on the other end. Legacy adapters with a female Type-C receptacle are not allowed.”

Benefits:

There are many advantages to Type C as well,

  • It reversible
  • It’s a single USB connector shape all devices that should use it.
  • No more worries of different USB cables with different connector shapes.
  • No more unnecessary amount of room on ever-thinner devices.
  • High Capacity Charging
  • High Speed data transfer
  • multiple protocol support like HDMI, Display Port etc.

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As you can see in the image, the Lumia 950 XL uses a USB type C port and the connecting wire is reversible that works with the display dock too. The cable can be used from either way to connect to phone or display dock.

Popular Devices using USB Type C:

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Looking on all these it seems to be a very good future proofing. Most OEM’s have already adopted it, fox example,

  • Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
  • LG Nexus 5X
  • LG G5
  • One Plus 2
  • Pixel C
  • Macbook
  • Apple TV
  • Nokia N1 Tablet

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USB Type-C devices also support power currents of 1.5 A and 3.0 A over the 5 V power bus in addition to baseline 900 mA; devices can either negotiate increased USB current through the configuration line, or they can support the full Power Delivery specification.

Backward Compatibility:

Type-C USB and USB 3.1 are backward-compatible with USB 3.0, USB 2.0. In a Type-C USB connection, the Type-A ports and plugs are no longer included. However, for compatibility, you’ll find compatible Type A to Type C cable. On top of that there will be adapters to make Type C hosts and devices work with existing USB devices.

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USB On The Go (OTG):

This is well known to you if you are Android  or Windows user. Android phones users may be using it from a long time but only a few windows phone users are using it which have Lumia 950 XL as of now. USB On-The-Go, often abbreviated to USB OTG allows USB devices such as mobile phones, to act as a host, allowing other USB devices, such as USB flash drives, keyboards, to be attached to them. Use of USB OTG allows those devices to switch back and forth between the roles of host and client. For example, a mobile phone may read from removable media as the host device, but present itself as a USB Mass Storage Device when connected to a host computer. For a much detailed information, you can read on wiki.

Also note that Microsoft Lumi a950 XL only supports USB OTG support, Lumia 950 doesn’t. The USB connectors for OTG support will work on 950 XL only.

This is all a short note on USB Type-C and some of the facts related to it. If that helps you do let us know if you have any questions in comments.

Thanks for reading.

DVD Fab