What is USB-C?

Nowadays, we see the lack of USB-C in many desktop or mobile devices as a shortcoming. So why? In this article, we talk about why USB-C is more important than other USB standards.

Of course, the only point that distinguishes the USB-C standard, which has entered our lives with the widespread use of laptop PCs, Macs and mobile devices, is not, as many people think, “the opposite is not flat, it can be plugged in in any way.” As in every new standard, attention is paid to the different technologies and deficiencies behind all of them.

It is difficult to set a single standard to perform multiple functions in the tech world. When we think of the computers of most of us 10 years ago, there were separate ports for everything. We used a separate input for voice, separate input for mouse and keyboard, and separate input for display. Today, thanks to the widespread use of USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices, many of us have gotten rid of crowded connection ports. However, this has not yet become the standard.

As you know, the format wars that have been in the field of technology for years are still going on. Developments such as VHS’s superiority over Betamax tapes, CD and DVD replacing VHS tapes, and the disappearance of Blu-Ray discs and DVD are progressing rapidly from past to present. Today’s standard format can become tomorrow’s old and abandoned. As always, consumers are affected by this situation. When companies start to abandon licensed technologies due to the difficulties experienced while struggling with each other, those who cannot read the old DVDs in their homes are always customers, even though they pay so much.

Universal Port: USB-C

USB and USB-C, on the other hand, are much different from the old standard formats we mentioned. It has a structure that emerged with the goal of creating a universal connection like its name, rather than the fierce competition experienced in the format wars and the companies trying to fill their pockets. From the simplest technological device to the most advanced, almost all of them today have a USB connection. It is possible to say that USB-Cs brought a new breath to the world of plug and play (PNP / Plug N Play).

USB-C is of course not a connection standard for only one function or a couple of functions. If it were, be sure that this article would not be possible either. Why should we talk about an ordinary connection point? Without further ado, let’s start to talk about what USB-C is, why it should be preferred and widespread.

What is USB-C?

USB-C; A relatively new industry standard developed by USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum), which is responsible for setting USB standards, capable of transmitting both data and power for various purposes via a single input and output. More than 700 companies, including Microsoft, Samsung and Apple, are members of USB-IF.

What’s the difference with Micro USB?

Normally, USB-C is similar to Micro-USB connections in both the way of connection and entry points, but there is another difference that completely separates it. Just like Lightning cables, no matter where or how you plug them in, you can plug them in directly without distinction in reverse or straight. In addition, USB-C is slightly thicker than Micro-USB and has an oval female port.

USB-C and USB 3.2

USB-C ports can in theory transfer at a maximum rate of 10 Gbps / second. This is equivalent to twice the normal known USB 3.0 speed. For this reason, USB-C points that support the highest speed are also called USB 3.2 Gen 1 × 2. The main reason for this small naming difference is that the USB-A standard, which is one of the classic USB interfaces that supports 10 Gbps / second, is named USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 1.

Nevertheless, when we look at the mobile side (laptop) other than desktop computers, we see that USB-C is mostly preferred to transfer 10 Gbps speed via USB. However, we shouldn’t assume that each USB-C slot delivers 10 Gbps / s. Some USB-C ports still support 5 Gbps / s. When purchasing a device, you must make sure that the phrase USB 3.2 Gen 1 × 2 or 10 Gbps is passed to have a USB-C port that can deliver speeds of 10 Gbps.

Speaking of which, there are some points that we should criticize about these nomenclatures. The number scheme of the USB 3 version continues to get complicated in the form of 3.x every day and year. The USB-C port is also called Gen 1 and Gen 2 as USB 3.1. This can be complicated as viewed from the point of view of the end user. USB-IF intervened in this situation and removed the complex classification in USB 3.2 and 3.1.

The values ​​of USB 3.2 and USB 3.1 and SuperSpeed ​​are actually the same. It would be best to consult the manufacturer of the device where you see the USB 3.1 label to find the correct speed value about these standards, which differ only in naming.

The fastest USB-C ports use USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2, offering speeds of up to 20 Gbps. A dual-lane data transfer path was followed to achieve incredible speeds of 2 × 2 to 20 Gbps specified by USB-IF. As it is a newer standard, it is too early to be available on most computers. Still, USB 3.2 2 × 2 ports can be found on high-end devices or high-end motherboards.

Core Skills of USB-C Dots

USB-C points have a number of other features besides data transfer such as the known USB-A points and the ability to connect various peripherals. One of the most important reasons for choosing USB-C points is that sufficient power can be received and supplied from these ports to charge devices such as smartphones and laptops. Nowadays, many ultrabooks or mobility devices stand out, instead of conventional charging ports, USB-C points have started to be preferred for convenience.

Since it can transmit power while transmitting data at the same time, it is a port that can do them simultaneously, if you have the necessary connection cables, you can make almost any connection such as DisplayPort, HDMI or MHL through this port. Although it is not preferred, it can also be used to efficiently connect audio devices thanks to the power it can transmit. Nevertheless, there are still jack inputs in laptops and mobile devices, considering that it is not desired to go out of the ordinary and it may be desired to use headphones or speakers while these devices are charged.

Before purchasing a device, we recommend that you investigate in detail, considering that not every USB-C point has the same feature, and that they may have different speeds and features technically. As far as we know, every point can simultaneously transmit power and data. In addition to all these, HDMI or DisplayPort can be connected to each USB-C port in various ways, but you may not be able to receive images because the manufacturer did not design the device accordingly. For all these reasons, you should pay close attention to these issues and details in devices where you attach great importance to the USB-C port.

ThunderBolt 3 Support on USB-C

The ability to provide the ThunderBolt 3 protocol with the USB-C point may be more important than many of the features we have mentioned throughout the article. USB-C points with ThunderBolt 3 support, which allows data transfer up to 40 Gbps and is also more efficient, can provide up to 100W of power output depending on the device.

You can transfer data at high speed using a USB-C port with ThunderBolt 3 support, provide video data to two 4K 60Hz screens, or capture data at high speed. Thanks to the fact that all this can be done with only one cable that supports the port we mentioned, some ultrabook manufacturers today removed the traditional USB-A ports and introduced models with only 1-2 USB-C points. Most of Apple Macbook Pro devices have 4 ports on them to make more use of USB-C points. When you think about it, with the help of various adapters, you will have much more than classical connection points and multi-purpose connection points.

Besides all these advantages, there are a few other things that should not be forgotten. Not all USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 3. While some devices may have USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support side by side with the normal USB-C port, some may not support Thunderbolt at all. This uncertainty may change with the USB 4 standard, which is expected to arrive recently. While Thunderbolt support comes with the new generation USB 4, backward compatibility with USB 3 also continues. Most likely, many new devices will come with USB 4, which will be physically connected via USB-C, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2. The first products with USB 4 support were Apple’s Mac Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models with M1 processors.

Conclusion: Is USB-C a luxury? Is it needed?

The answer is actually hidden in yourself. Nowadays, if this device is a laptop when you buy a computer, almost all of them have USB-C points. If you have preferred an Ultrabook, the USB-C point becomes extra important for you. In desktop computers, many motherboards and cases already have USB-C support.

It may not sound very attractive or important today, but with the widespread use of the USB standard in the coming years, it is thought that USB-C with its minimal structure and many advantages will enable the gradual abandonment of classical USB ports, just as other connection types and protocols are abandoned.


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