In the vast majority of electrical gadgets and computer equipment, USB-A connectors can be found. Nevertheless, how does the use of USB Type C affect this equation?
We will start with clarifying what USB-A and USB-C are, and then move on to discussing the differences between the two interfaces.
What is a USB-A connector, and how does it work?
A flat rectangular shape and the letter “A” on the end of the USB Type-A connector immediately distinguish it as the original USB connector. As a result of the way they are built, USB-A ports (which are not reversible by design) are found in practically every computer-like device, such as laptops, smart TVs, video game consoles, and DVD/Blu-ray players.
What exactly is USB-C?
USB Type-C was introduced in 2014 to address frequent USB-A issues. Numerous thin, lightweight products now incorporate slimline USB-C ports. Due to USB-tiny C’s port, manufacturers can create slimmer electronic items. USB-C connectors are being integrated into an increasing number of products, with the objective of eventually displacing traditional USB-A ports.
What Is the Distinction Between USB-A and USB-C?
Now that we’ve established a foundational understanding of USB-A and USB-C, let’s look at the significant distinctions.
Reversible Design and Slimmer Shape
The clumsy USB-A connection was replaced with the space-saving USB-C connector, enabling for the slimmest electronic gadgets ever.
Apart from the apparent cosmetic changes, USB-C ports now accept USB-C connectors in any orientation. This significant convenience enhancement is enabled by the USB-C connector’s symmetrical pin layout on both the bottom and top.
USB-A pins are reserved for the USB-A ports’ bottom part (making insertion non-reversible).
Support for USB Standards
USB 4.0, the latest specification, requires USB-C connectors, displacing USB-A. USB 4.0 supports a maximum data transfer rate of 40Gbps and USB Power Delivery (USB PD), which enables bi-directional power delivery of up to 100W. (enough to power large electronic devices from laptops to some printers).
This is substantially faster than the most recent USB 3.1 standard, which supports data transmission rates of up to 10Gbps.
Support for Alternate Modes
The Alternate Mode feature of USB-C enables the ports to support a greater range of data protocols. However, this support is provided at the hardware manufacturer’s choice for integration into their electronic gadget.
Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, HDMI, Mobile High-Definition Link, and VirtualLink are among the Alternate Modes that can be consolidated into a single USB-C connection.
By consolidating all of these connections into a single USB-C connector, Alternate Modes enables the manufacture of smaller electrical devices than ever before. All you need is the appropriate converter to use the USB-C port’s Alternate Mode capability. USB-A does not support Alternate Mode.
Compatibility with Previous Versions
Both USB-A and USB-C are backward compatible with the device to which they are attached.
For instance, a USB-A 3.0 connector (denoted by its typical blue plastic insert) will operate at the same speed as a USB port, including USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. Likewise, a USB-C 3.2 connector is backward compatible with prior USB-C specifications.
While you cannot directly connect your tiny USB-C connector to a bigger USB-A port, an adapter or hub equipped with the correct connectors and ports will work.
With USB-C, You Can See Beyond The Horizon
Over 700 technological companies cooperated on the early design and implementation of USB-C, including Apple, Google, Intel, and Microsoft. USB-C is truly universal and will not be phased out of existence.
However, many older gadgets continue to require a USB-A connection. For the time being, USB-A will coexist with USB-C in electronic gadgets to address compatibility concerns.
As the use of these older devices falls, USB-C is projected to become the de-facto standard.