Good news, everyone! The next generation of the USB connector will plug in either way up; no more fumbling in the dark while trying to figure out if the USB connector is right side up.
According to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, which is made up of companies that include Intel, HP, Microsoft, and others, the USB Type-C connector is a total redesign. Initially intended for the USB 3.1 and 2.0 devices, the Type-C will be similar in size to the USB 2.0 Micro-B plug found in use with most modern cellphones, and will support scalable power charging.
The new design takes a forward-thinking approach by being tailored to work well with new and emergent product designs. The USB Type-C connector is also planned to scale along with future USB bus performance.
The Type-C USB connector is a designed to deliver power, data, and video across devices without the need for other connectors. The design also allows for socketing either side up, removing the requirement for a specific orientation when connecting.
Not Backward Compatible
However, the new USB Type-C connector will not be backward compatible. Existing USB devices will be required to use 3.0 to existing version cables or adaptors to use current generation USB devices. These new additional products will be defined along with the USB 3.0 Type-C connection specifications, according to the Promoter Group.
The new USB connector is designed to allow for future design trends in terms of size and usability. The new Type-C connector is expected to enable a new thin-class of devices while laying the foundation for future versions of USB.
The new Type-C specification is up for review during the first quarter of 2014 and the final specification should be published on or near the middle of the same year.