USB Connector Types
Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become a highly adopted standard for a wired connection between two electronic devices. The success is attributable to the plug and play interface between peripherals and devices and the ability to evolve to meet the ever increasing demand for higher speed transmissions and higher power delivery. USB connectors are now used everywhere in consumer devices, industrial and automotive applications. The compact design and user friendly plugging features have also propelled in particular, the USB Type C connector to be widely adopted in smartphones, notebooks and other portable devices.
Advent of USB 4
USB 4 brings about a new era of USB performance. To meet next generation devices requirements for significantly higher speed and higher data performance, USB 4 offers a major update in USB architecture which builds upon the existing USB 3.2 and 2.0 architectures and is based on the Thunderbolt™ protocol specification.
Amphenol's USB 4 Gen3 Type C connector terminals design are made of copper alloy material to provide high power delivery of up to 100W, high speed transmissions up to 40Gb/s and is compatible with Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort interface. USB 4 supports multiple simultaneous data and display protocols thus enabling efficient sharing of total bandwidth over the BUS. The USB Type C interface is retained for better user experience with reversible plug and cable orientation. Amphenol's USB4 Gen3 Type C connector is also backward compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 which means all-in-one simplicity for the connection between devices to scale to the best mutual capabilities in power delivery, data transfer and video output from just one connector.
USB Type C Proliferation
Type C connectors support variety of USB protocols such as USB 4, USB3.1, USB3.0 and USB2.0. One of the key differences between Type C and the rest of USB interface types and one of the most popular feature of the USB type C, is that the connector and port are symmetrical which allows users to plug in without worrying about getting the correct orientation. The reversible design enables quick and easy connections, no matter which way the USB plug is inserted into the USB port. Having similar footprint to a Micro-USB connector has also propelled the Type C connector to be widely used in small handheld devices such as tablets, smartphones, hard disk drives, solid state drives and portable devices such as notebooks.
Amphenol's range of USB Type C supports a variety of protocols such as USB2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 and meet Superspeed communication of 10Gb/s, 5A and 20V power supply. Offered in vertical, right angle and straddle mount configurations and up to 10,000 mating cycles, the low profile and reversible product design makes Amphenol's USB Type C ideal for next generation product designs.
Amphenol also offers a range of waterproof Type C connectors with IPX4 to IPX8 performance and unique IP technology that ensures each part meets IP waterproof performance standards. Using a Type C interface, together with high speed transmission performance of up to 40Gb/s, power rating of 100W and up to 10,000 mating cycles, it is a connector designed for high performance, high durability and better user experience.
Applications for Ruggedized USB
Ruggedized connectors used in harsh environments are often sealed to provide higher protection to the connector plug and receptacle over wider operating temperature range and offers protection from water and dust incursion. Amphenol offers a variety of rugged USB solutions in 3.0, 2.0 in Type C, Mini AB, Mini B, and Type A connector interface.
The MUSBR series is a line of compact, Generation 2 ruggedized USB connectors with die cast housings and IP67 sealing, designed for Harsh Environment applications. Offered in Type C, Mini AB, Mini B, and Type A connector interface and with an operating temperature range from -55°C to +105°, it is designed to use in extreme conditions in many applications including automotive, communications, consumer, data, industrial and medical.
Amphenol's MRU series of USB 2.0 Type A connectors provide IP67 protection for enclosures per IEC 60529. With data rates up to 480Mb/s, the connector series is designed to provide a standard USB interface for enclosures exposed to harsh environments. The ruggedized USB connector comes in UL94V-0 high temperature resistant housing with an operating temperature range from -45°C to +85°C. Locking features prevent accidental disconnection and provides secure mating and data transmission.
Amphenol's LUSB series is a line of lockable USB connectors offered in USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connector interface. The locking latch locks the USB connector in position to ensure secured data transmission and is designed to be used in many markets and applications across the globe including automotive, communications, consumer, data, Industrial 4.0 and medical.
Evolution of USB Performance from USB 2.0, USB 3.0 to USB 4
To meet the ever increasing demands of data and speed performance, USB has released a new protocol at shorter intervals with higher data transmission capabilities. USB was first introduced in 1996 with a maximum transmission speed of 12Mb/s. USB 2.0 specification came onto the scene four years later in 2000 with transmission speed of up to 480 Mbit/s. USB 3.0 with specifications of 5 Gb/s was introduced nearly a decade later in 2008. Since then, USB protocols have doubled transmission speeds with new specifications released once every two to three years. USB 3.1 in 2014 performed to transmission speeds of up to 10Gb/s. USB 3.1 Gen 1 is synonymous with USB 3.0 and used to denote transmission speed of 5Gp/s, also known as Superspeed. USB 3.1 Gen 2 specifies speeds of 10Gbp/s. Specification for USB 3.2 was at 20Gb/s in 2017. The USB 3.2 specification identifies three transfer rates, USB 3.2 Gen 1 at 5Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2 at 10Gb/s and USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 at 20Gb/s. USB 4 protocol was announced in 2019 with specifications of 40Gb/s.
Amphenol provides a wide variety of USB connector types and is one of the earliest adopters of USB3.1 Gen 2 Type C connector that are designed to be used in factory automation equipment and automotive infotainment applications.
Designed for data server applications is the range of USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectors in Type A, Type B and Type Micro-B interface from Amphenol. These USB connectors operate with full-duplex signaling over two differential pairs, improving host-directed simultaneous bidirectional communication. They also support scalable power delivery up to 100W and performance speed up to 10Gb/s. Full metal shielding protects against damage from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), Radio-Frequency interference (RFI) and Electromagnetic Discharge (ESD). Rugged gold-plated leaf contact design improves contact resistance and prevents corrosion.
Uses of USB Type A and USB Type B
The Type A is the traditional USB connector, one of the most commonly used USB connector before USB Type C was introduced, and was commonly found on devices that did not require cables such as thumb drives or flash drives, wireless mouse and keyboard adaptors. USB Type A is one of the most recognizable on devices with its flat rectangular shaped plug and receptacle.
USB Type B connectors and ports have a square shape with a square protrusion on top and are found on larger computer peripheral devices such as printers and scanners. While the Type B plug is found on one end of the cable, Type A connector always remained on the other end to plug into the computer.
Check out Amphenol's extensive range of USB connectors, including the new USB4 Gen 3 Type C connector.