USB-A and USB-C: what's the difference?

USB Type-A and USB Type-C are interfaces wired connection. Understand how they differ from each other and what relation it has USB 3.1.

Types of wired connection set. These include VGA, COM, HDMI, USB, and many others. USB Type-A and USB Type-C is just the tip of the iceberg, but we will speak today only about them. These two ports are very common, they occur in personal computers, and numerous peripherals. When buying any device it is useful to find out what type of connection it supports, as this information will help you understand what the technique can do and how to squeeze the maximum out of it.

What is the USB-A?

Let's start with the fact that the USB connection means the use of the port of the master device (host), connecting cables and port receptor. Ports are different functions and differ in appearance.

USB connection type And often called a full-sized USB. This type is widely distributed and easily recognizable.

USB Type-A large, horizontally situated connector rectangular shape with sharp corners. Inside it is the plastic panel in black, white or blue with a set of contacts. This is the same connector that you will need as they say "to observe": the plug enters the socket in only one position.

USB-A appeared in the mid-nineties. In zero he was to meet everywhere. They are equipped with keyboard, mouse, webcam, powerbank, camera and connection cables. Popular USB Type-A due to the fact that the interface is reliable, versatile and ensures a high data transmission speed (480 Mbps). Thus he not only supports the connection of peripheral devices, but also their charge.

At the other end of the cable with a USB Type-A may be a USB connector Type B. USB-B port of a receiving device (e.g., printer) that is connected to a host (computer). It is also easy to learn: coupling type B has a square shape.

There are many subtypes of USB-A and USB-B: USB Mini A, USB Micro A, Mini B, Micro AB, etc. Their design features deserve a separate material, while we will not touch them.

What is the USB-C?

Over time, the possibilities USB Type-A ceased to meet the needs of users, and there was a need for faster and more compact connection. USB-C is a relatively new interface, it appeared in 2014. In form it differs from the USB-A: it is also a rectangle, but much smaller and with much rounded corners. Today, Type-C is one of the most widely used connection types in consumer devices.

Its key features are:

  • Compactness and convenience (plug the USB C connector is inserted into any party).
  • current Transmission capacity of 100 watts (in some cases up to 130 watts).
  • the Ability to supply power to energy consuming devices, such as laptops.
  • a higher data transfer rate (10 Gbps).
  • the Ability to transfer 4K video.
  • The versatility — you can replace many of the specific connectors, including HDMI and VGA.
  • The potential compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 (with additional equipment the USB-C port can be used as a Thunderbolt 3).

USB-C is better than USB-A and whatnot?

As mentioned above, the USB Type-C is faster and more versatile than USB-A. Over time it will supplant the old interfaces, but it will happen soon.

At the present time the computers and laptops are equipped with both types of connectors. This is necessary to avoid problems with the connection of old equipment in use is plenty of phones, controllers, keyboards, printers, and other peripherals that require the USB A/A or USB A/b

In addition, not all users are willing to buy the adapter USB-C in order to use the old technology via the new standard connection. But as the old devices out of use, USB-C is becoming more widespread.

What is USB 3.1?

USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 data transfer protocols via the USB connection. These terms do not refer to the physical description of the connectors. They indicate at what speed the device is able to exchange data.

The USB 3.0 standard with his appearance began a string of important changes. First of all he demanded to modify the design of Type-A, to empower the connection (so began developing a standard USB-C). Subsequent changes were by and large only the data transfer speed.

The Protocol USB 3.1 and USB port-C was developed in parallel, which is why USB-C always works through USB 3.1 (although it is technically possible to implement, and USB 2.0). At the moment there are two generations of USB 3.1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 USB 3.1. The second extends the original capabilities of the USB-C, for example, allows you to transfer data at speeds up to 10 Gbit/s.

Ports USB-A and USB-C can support different protocols – USB 2.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 2. Usually this information is specified in the Datasheet of the device. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that manufacturers use the names of the different protocols, and sometimes there is confusion: USB 3.1 Gen 1 erroneously called USB 3.0.

USB 3.1 is compatible with other USB connections: if the laptop port is compatible with USB 3.1, it is possible to connect an old flash drive with USB 2.0. But there are a couple of nuances: to use the USB Type-C adapter may be required, and the maximum data transfer rate is possible only in case if the USB cable and connect the device support it.

Instead of a conclusion

Too hard? Then remember the basic.

  • USB-A and USB-C connectors and plugs of different shapes. USB-A rectangular, USB-C – small and more like an elongated oval than a rectangle.
  • USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 – transmission standard.
  • USB-A and USB-C may have different standards, depends on the connection speed.
  • USB 3.1 is compatible with other standards, but only the USB-C can exploit the potential of USB 3.1 Gen 2.
  • The cable and the connected device must also support the technology of 3.1 to complete the work.
  • Will soon be a standard USB 3.2. He will bring new benefits in terms of speed, but will make more confusion to the understanding of the USB standard.