What You Need To Know About USB-C

Image: iStock

If you're an owner of a new Apple MacBook, HP Spectre or Samsung Galaxy Note 7 you'd be familiar with the slim, high-speed, high-power USB Type-C connector. It's set to become the new standard, with its reversibility (that's right, there's no wrong way up with the USB-C) just one of the advantages. It can power laptops, transfer data and solve world hunger (okay, maybe not that last one).

Now Intel have hailed it as the ideal -- and superior -- alternative to the headphone jack.

There are some improvements for the USB-C standard coming later in the year which could make it ideal for widespread smartphone use -- making digital audio a viable replacement for routing bulky analog circuitry, allowing them to be slimmer. This is what Brad Saunders and Rahman Ismail told the crowds at the Intel Developer Forum recently.

Sanders and Ismail said the coming improvements would allow for audio to be a real focus. Features like automatically turning the microphone off when it's not in use, and connecting a phone to a display for transferring apps or movies.

We're a bit of a fan of the USB-C, with Sandisk's Ultra USB Type-C scoring a glowing review, but they aren't without their problems -- if you don't know how to use them properly, and a cheap cable can straight up kill your laptop. (Type-C to Type-C only, kids).

Certification is coming, via the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) in the form of a Certified USB Charger Compliance and Logo Program. Safety isn't the only concern of the program, though, with one of the main aims being to reduce the number of chargers you need, ultimately minimising e-waste.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo


Comments

    Now Intel have hailed it as the ideal — and superior — alternative to the headphone jack.

    LOL good luck with that one, Intel.

    Sounds kinda dumb? I mean I've already been annoyed enough with my current phone on occasion that it doesn't have a dedicated charge port and I have to choose between using a USB accessory and keeping the phone alive, but to add headphones to that equation too? Though admittedly the frequency of that has diminished over the years as I've reduced my general usage.

      What the hell did I just read?

        The subconscious sporadic ramblings of a materialistic "fomo" mind caught in a never-ending cycle of indecision and tangental meh... Or was it perhaps another No Man's Sky brain fart...

          Well there goes my positive start to the week...

          Last edited 23/08/16 9:13 am

      Yeah but now you'll be able to buy a $100 adapter that lets you charge your phone and listen to headphones at the same time! Or you can pay $150 for some mid-grade Bluetooth headphones that youll always forget to charge.

      Just think of the profit margin they can make on accessories!

      Last edited 23/08/16 9:06 am

        Considering that I'm still using a set of pack-in earphones from the mid-90s that came from my sister's Sony walkman and have never actually bought any pair of headphones, I'm sure this is exactly what they have in mind :p

          I also missed the subtext in my first read "with one of the main aims being to reduce the number of chargers you need, ultimately minimising e-waste"

          buy the charger separately! more profit margin! we'll claim it's to reduce e-waste but we'll still relentlessly and exponentially push out new devices and accessories and encourage you to upgrade at every chance you get :)

      Considering the speed of USB3 charging (my note 3 would fully charge in 1.5 hours), I assume USB-C might be quicker, meaning the most you'd be inconvenienced would be an hour - surely its not hard to find an hour to charge your phone where you don't need to be doing something else with it

        Entirely situational though. If you suddenly need to do the thing now and find you don't have enough charge to do so, or worse are in the middle of the thing and it's nearly drained itself then it's not great. Eggs and baskets, and all that.

        I guess I've never been that great a fan of convergence :p

        thats due to battery tech tho not USB

    It's more like you can start selling phones with a crap dac/headphone amp but still charge the same price. You can make more money from consumers by selling your own digital headphone set on top of that!

    Only way I see it working is of usb-c acted as a plug only and analog transmission still possible.

    Everyone in this comments section needs to remember the price of progress is inconvenience for early adopters. Don't try to kill this through your short-sightedness and ignorance like you did with always online consoles.

      Yer always online consoles can shove it :P

    really? that's everything?

    I thought we were supposed to have completely wireless, cordless, ear bud, style earphones by now anyway.

    I still didn't learn anything about usb c.

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