Why I quite like USB C

A lot of folks complaining that they have to go buy yet another set of USB leads, thanks to this newfangled USB C plug that’s come along. So what’s it all about and why do practically all new smartphones come equipped with it?

Main reason is that it allows suitably equipped mobile devices to charge much more rapidly. Theoretically, USB C allows up to 20 volts at up to 5 amps (100 watts) – as opposed to mini-B and micro-B type 5 volts 2.1 amps (10.5 watts). Though I personally have some reservations regarding the practicality and safety of running to such extremes of power, considering the very small physical contact area.

USB C Plug pin-outs

Nevertheless, the USB C specification seems very well thought-out – reversibility of the plug being one of its better known features. One of its lesser-known features is that it has more connections too 12, as opposed to the 4 (or 5) of the old mini/micro-B. This allows USB 3.0 and 3.1 connectivity as well as the forthcoming USB 4. This is a big advantage for connecting to PC’s, Macs, Pi’s and similar computing devices because it facilitates significantly faster data transmission speeds from/to external storage devices.

Once you lift the proverbial hood, USB C really is a very clever format indeed. And of course, fully supported in GNU/Linux. 🙂

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