Recently, at CES Asia held in Shanghai, a well-known manufacturer showed 18 digital accessory products with USB 3.1 type-C interface at one go; The product categories include charger, mobile power supply, data cable, USB dock, etc., which can be said to cover almost all the use scenarios related to USB interface. This can’t help but remind people that in the past six months, some IT industry giants such as Nokia, apple and Google have started to carry type-C interface on their products, and regard it as an important selling point and publicity point; Even at the Google I / O conference, Google announced that Android m would also support the type-C interface.

These make us think, why does a small interface attract so many people’s attention? Can the type-C interface become popular in the world and set off a trend to change the data interface of the whole industry?

Can type-C interface change the trend of data interface in the whole industry

Compromise and creation of USB 3.1

USB (Universal Serial Bus) standard is proposed to regulate the connection and communication between computer and external devices; It started with version 1.0 in 1996, became popular with version 2.0 in 2000, updated with version 3.0 in 2008, and finally became the latest state in version 3.1 in 2013. Each generation of USB standard update in addition to the speed of data transmission, scalability, current transmission and other internal technology updates, there is another point that consumers can intuitively perceive: the change of interface standard.

In the latest USB 3.1 standard, there are three interface styles, one is type-A (standard-a, the most common USB interface style on traditional computers), one is type-B (micro-b, the interface style of Samsung Galaxy note 3), and the other is type-C (the newly designed interface style mentioned in this article).

From the naming of the three interface styles, we can also intuitively feel that the makers of USB 3.1 standard (USB if Association) are also trying to simplify and unify the various interface types. In short, the USB if association has chosen two of the most extensive USB interfaces from nearly ten existing ones, named type-A and type-B respectively, and then redesigned a new interface and named it type-c; Only these three interfaces can support the data transmission speed, current transmission size and other technical standards under USB 3.1 standard.

In fact, USB as a technical standard, each new version of the formulation must be based on the technical update to consider the compatibility of the previous version. From the perspective of interface standard, type-A is theoretically compatible with almost all computers equipped with USB interface from the birth of USB to today (except MacBook Air and chromebook pixel released in 2015), because type-A is determined as the only type of USB interface connected to the computer by every version before USB 3.1.

Type-B uses and is compatible with the mciro-b interface in USB 3.0. Moreover, the type-B female port (female port, English name is receptile, which refers to the inserted interface on the device) can be unilaterally compatible with the micro USB male port (male port, English name is plug, which corresponds to the female port, which refers to the interface used to insert the female port) of all existing Android phones.

Therefore, it can be said that in the three interfaces of USB 3.1 standard, the existence of type-A and type-B is more about downward compatibility and unification of existing interfaces. In a sense, the existence of the two is a compromise of the new standard to the past; Of course, such compromise is necessary.

Only type-C is the most bright spot of USB 3.1. Its originality is not only reflected in the improvement of technical standards, but also in its unprecedented appearance style; This style is brand new, completely ground to the future. Because of this, type-C has attracted the attention of the world in the design phase; When it was finally published, it aroused a lot of discussions and expectations.

Now, it has changed from a design concept to a product that people can use.

Humanization at last

From a design concept to the final product, type-C not only attracts the attention of USB 3.1 standard makers, but also attracts the attention of equipment manufacturers and ordinary consumers. The reason why it is concerned is that it is designed to deal with the more critical issues related to data transmission, such as efficiency, diversity, simplicity, mobility and ease of use.

The following characteristics of type-C determine that it is destined to represent the future of data interface.

The coming of the era of data mobility

More efficient data transmission capability. Data transmission across devices is the essence of USB; Therefore, the first problem to be solved is the speed and efficiency of data transmission. Under the USB 3.1 standard supported by type-C, the theoretical data transmission speed has increased from 480mbps (equivalent to 60MB / s) in USB 2.0 era to 10Gbps (equivalent to 1280mb / s), and the data transmission loss rate has also decreased from 20% of USB3.0 to 3%. All these ensure the efficiency of data transmission, which can not only meet the needs of information transmission today, but also be able to do well in the future.

Richer scalability. The computer can be connected with almost all external devices through USB, but in the transmission of video and audio, USB 3.0 and its previous versions can only stay at the highest 1080p Full HD level, while the type-C interface under USB 3.1 standard can transmit 4K display screen at most. Today’s market has appeared 4K TV, mobile phone screen configuration has entered the era of 2K, and is constantly improving; The emergence of USB 3.1 and type-C just corresponds to this trend.

More power supply. Under the USB 3.1 standard, the power supply capacity of type-C interface can reach up to 20V / 5A, which can not only meet the charging requirements of mobile phones, but also meet the charging requirements of tablet devices and computers; In addition, in this power supply capacity, it can also avoid the trouble that other high-power external devices need additional power supply.

As mentioned above, the type-C interface is based on the technical features of USB 3.1 standard; For the type-C interface, in addition to meeting the above more advanced technical features, there are other more obvious style features that are more closely related to ordinary consumers.

A thinner shape. Compared with the size of type-A and the width of type-B, the size of type-C is about 8.3mm × The 2.5mm shape is more suitable for the increasingly stringent requirements of the thickness of mobile devices such as notebook, tablet and mobile phone. Especially for mobile phones, several models have broken through the limit of 5mm in body thickness, reaching 4.75mm, and it is rumored that the thickness of the next generation iPhone may be 4.3mm. Even so, this is more than enough for the type-C with a design thickness of 2.5mm.

Both sides can be inserted. This feature is also one of the most praised features of type-C, which is also the most humanized compared with other interfaces; It solves the problem of “USB can never be plugged in” of all kinds of devices, such as computers, tablets and mobile phones.

In a word, the type-C interface fully meets the needs of the present and even the future, whether in the technology development that the industry attaches more importance to, or in the ease of use and humanization that consumers care about; Driven by consumers’ pursuit of easy-to-use products, as well as the demonstration effect of top brands such as Nokia, apple and Google boldly adopting type-C interface, it is bound to form a big trend of type-C popularity in the world in the future.

The coming of the era of data mobility

Here, the future development trend of type-C can be concluded for a while; Next, I want to talk about the more profound significance behind the design of the type-C interface and the high expectations.

As mentioned above, the USB standard is based on a basic idea – standardizing the connection and communication between computers and other external devices; Another meaning of this concept is to take the computer as the data distribution center and other external equipment as the data distribution point. These different data distribution points complete the data acquisition, transmission, display, exchange and other work through the data distribution center of computer; Of course, the essence of these works is data transmission, but due to the different types of equipment, transmission methods, the amount of information and other ways, various differentiated ways have been formed. In order to ensure that the data can still communicate with the computer when these differences are allowed, a basic data transfer specification is needed; This specification is the USB standard that people later realized and developed.

This idea is also in the style of USB interface. Since the era of USB 1.0, people have designed the type-A interface style used in today’s USB 3.1 standard for this data distribution center computer (of course, it was not the title at that time), and this interface style has experienced the update of USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and even USB 3.0, Still tenaciously survive in this world and dominate the USB interface type of most computers in fact.

On the other hand, as the data scattered point of other external devices, not only some of them disappeared in the transformation of time, some came into being, but also in the interface style also presents a state of chaos. All this is because computers, as the only data center that can connect to the Internet, exist in the world and in people’s consciousness.

In the usb3.1 era, the type-C interface was born; This interface can not only connect mobile phones, tablets and other devices, it can also directly connect to our computer. In other words, the type-C interface can not only replace the interfaces of all kinds of mobile phones, USB flash drives, mobile power supplies and other devices, but also replace the type-A interface for data exchange.

In this way, under the latest USB 3.1 standard, the computer is no longer the center that monopolizes one end of many data lines, but may become a data node connected by a data line with type-C interface at both ends; It is even possible that in the future data transmission, mobile phones and other devices such as tablets will be connected with each other through type-C, leaving the computers that used to be data centers unattended.

That’s what type-C really means. It indicates a new stage of the information age the arrival of the mobile Internet era. In this era, more and more devices – computers, mobile phones, tablets, TVs, e-book readers and even cars – can use different ways to access the Internet, thus gradually eliminating the status of computer as a data distribution center symbolized by the type-A interface, thus forming a more equal network including computers, mobile phones, mobile phones, mobile phones, etc There are many data nodes including flat panel. The type-C interface we just mentioned is an important tool for the communication of these data nodes.

In this way, we will wait for and look forward to the arrival of a popular type-C interface trend in the world.

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