Site Information

Loading... Please wait...


The USB-C Tidal Wave Monkey USB-C, Monkey Do!

Posted by TechOrbits on

The USB-C Tidal Wave

Monkey USB-C, Monkey Do!

This is the one goofy little connector-thingy you have got to know about. Out for a couple of years already, USB-C is still looking like the Game Changer we’ve all been waiting for!

Count yourself lucky if you can get the cable you need for a device without a coffee break spent untangling wires. “USB” stands for “Universal Something-or-other Bus” and shouldn’t we focus on the failed 20-year-old promise of “universal”?

At long last, USB-C seems to be seriously detangling the tech landscape. Already in use in phones and tablets, the first laptop implementation for the new plug came from Apple’s MacBook and Google’s Chromebook Pixel, but this is open-standard stuff spilling down the pipeline for everyone (and everything). The MacBook uses the new form factor plug for everything, including power.

USB has been evolving for decades, replacing bazillions of clunky plugs and connectors left and right, but every change seems to have come with the painful “Oh, no! My [device] doesn’t use that kind of plug!” or (even more fun) the pain brought by the printer on the other end that requires a wonky “USB Type B” plug. (You know; the one that isn’t in your drawer.)

More to the point, your phone connector is microscopically small compared to your laptop or desktop connections, so how can anyone call them a “universal” anything? And something truly universal ought to be more capable of A/V hookups and beefy power requirements.

Everything to Everyone

USB-C was designed to handle “everything”; small enough to put into phones and tablets, etc., but powerful enough to service big demands like laptops and more, which is why the new format is taking over the tech world. The new cable serves power to 100 watts (40 times more than a cell phone) while most laptops draw about 60 watts.

More than a new form factor, the USB-C format is also piggy-backing a few other upgrades into one package, since the new cable can even handle previously non-USB functions. To fascinate the nerd within you, the new cable also serves as a Thunderbolt 3 cable for Intel gadgetry, and even without added power (read: “cheap cable”), will be able to carry up to 40 gig data loads through short cords, including video or audio streams.

In non-nerd-speak, one day this thing will do whatever you need it to as long as your gizmo is new enough to have one. Gradually, you will begin to toss those old cords out the nearest window, and one day we will achieve the Pinnacle of All Technology: One Cord for Everything!

Where’d this thing come from?

It’s been all about the speed, baby. USB connections have been pushed hard for faster data since Day One, as the first USB connections topped out at just 12Mbps (megabits per second). USB 2.0 hit 480 Mbps in 2000 and in 2008 USB 3.0 got data rates into the Gbps (gigabits per second) range – up to 5Gbps. USB 3.1 got speeds up to 10Gbps in 2013, called SuperSpeed Plus.

So, how could anything be faster than “super speed plus”? Technobabble aside, USB-C simply has more wires in it – 24 to be precise. (USB 3.0 has 9 pins.) According to the USB Implementers Forum (the group in charge of the format), USB-C is set up with enough room to be “future proof”, at least to a degree. We should see speeds that bury “super-duper giga-lightning+ 10X” labels for years to come.

Caption/info: Apple’s USB-C Connector
By Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia (Apple MacBook's new USB-C (Type-C) port) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.
License: Public domain

Caption/info: USB Connectors
By Techtonic (Edited from USB types.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
License: Public domain

View Comments

3D Printing for Beginners

You may have seen it on the news or read about it in your favorite tech magazine, but what exactly is 3D printing?3D printing is the process of taking a digital CAD object and transforming that object into a living, breathing physical representation. By using 3D filament, personal consumers, engineers, architects and many others [...]

Read More »

TechOrbits Gift Guide 2016

We are nearing the finish line for this year's holiday season, but that doesn't mean that it's too late to buy the hottest tech items. TechOrbits put together a gift guide to help you with those last minute purchases.2016 is the year for Smart-home products, virtual reality, good old fashioned nostalgia, clever stocking stuffers, and some amazing tech and [...]

Read More »

Dead Device? Maintain Your Power with Proper Battery Maintenance

Every day, batteries power our most important devices, from our cell phones to our laptops, our vehicles to our robotic vacuums. These items, and their batteries, affect our lives and abilities to communicate, travel, work, and maintain our lives, and when they don't function properly, it can mean problems for our lives and our [...]

Read More »

TechOrbits 3D RED ABS 3D Printer Filament Review

3D printing technology is enough proof that we are living in exciting times. It has brought imagination even closer to our eyes and continues to impress with new creations going forward.Hence, such a trend can be extremely hard to ignore if you are a tech enthusiast or just a lover of art and innovation.To make 3D printing possible, several ingredients and [...]

Read More »

​5 ways to maximize the life of your iPhone battery

Is your iphone battery lasting you fewer hours than it used to ? You are not alone. Batteries are much like a living organism; they age, deteriorate and eventually completely die. But there are steps you can take to prolong your iphone battery's life.  Tip 1: Use the latest version of iOSUsing old versions of iOS can significantly [...]

Read More »

Lithium-ion laptop batteries

Although laptop batteries look plain from outside, they nevertheless have internal parts that are enclosed in a casing. A typical laptop battery consists of interconnected cells and an electronic circuit. The circuit regulates the voltage and current produced by the cells.Lithium-ion cells, commonly abbreviated as Li-ion, are the most common cell types used in laptop [...]

Read More »

Lithium-polymer laptop batteries

The laptop battery market is dominated by lithium-ion cells. However, many battery manufacturers are increasingly adopting lithium-polymer cells in the designing of laptop batteries. The chemistry and the technologies applied allow the manufacturers to come up with a wide selection of cell geometries. A lithium-polymer laptop battery contains an array of cells that are interconnected [...]

Read More »

The RGB color model and screen abnormalities

The RGB model is derived from the three colors that it uses: red, green, and blue. This model utilizes an addictive approach that combines red, green, and blue colors in various proportions and ways in order to produce a wide variety of colors. This model is utilized in various output devices including cellphone displays, computer [...]

Read More »

​How to fix stuck pixels

There are various abnormalities that can lower the quality of a screen. The most common abnormalities are hot, dead, and stuck pixels. Hot and dead pixels are displayed as white and black spots respectively. On the other hand, stuck pixels are usually displayed as green, red, or blue spots. It is difficult to get rid of hot or dead pixels [...]

Read More »