Why Macs and other laptops are ditching USB Ports and adopt Type-C?

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    Laptops are usually used with USB, HDMI/VGA, RJ45 and other interfaces, but in recent years, with the release of Apple’s MacBook, which only uses type-c interface, it may be influenced by Apple. Nowadays, more and more Windows laptops have used the design of full USB Type-C and full Thunderbolt interface.

    Then this also creates a problem. When our notebook is out of power, one port is charged, and the external device can only have one Type-C port. Especially for some office workers and designers, because they need to use U disk, mouse, keyboard, etc., and only use type-c interface, these peripherals cannot be used directly. It can be seen that the price paid by thin and light notebooks for lightness and thinness is still very large. But why do Apple and other computer manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi insist on using only one Type-c port for laptops?


    【What is USB Type-C?】

    USB Type-C is a specification for a new type of USB cable and connector that defines a whole new set of USB physical specifications including connectors, ports, containers, and cables.

    The new interface size and slightly cool name make it easy for consumers who hear the term for the first time to think that this is a new USB standard, but it is not. USB Type-C is only part of the USB 3.1 standard, not a new one. In addition, it should be noted that, similar to the common USB 2.0, the USB 3.1 standard still has interfaces such as Type-A (common in computer hosts) and Micro-B (common in Android phones), and Type-C is not for consumers to enjoy USB 3.1 The only option for high-speed data transmission.


    So why does the USB organization need to introduce a new physical interface specification?

    As more and more new devices pursue light weight and miniaturization, the “huge” size of the traditional USB interface has been difficult to meet the needs of device manufacturers and consumers. At the same time, the traditional USB interface needs to be repeatedly unplugged and plugged to find the “correct” direction, which has been widely criticized by consumers. Users urgently need an interface similar to the Lighting interface that can be inserted on both sides, especially in mobile phones and other applications. In a large number of devices connected with data cables, the experience of inserting the wrong interface once or twice a day is not friendly.


    Based on these problems, the framers of the USB standard have introduced the Type-C physical interface specification, which has introduced several major features in the specification:

    1. Slim. Different from the traditional Type-A interface common in life, the new Type-C interface has been greatly reduced in size, only 8.3*2.5mm, which is more suitable for use in increasingly miniaturized computing devices.

    2. No directionality. Similar to the Apple Lightning interface, the Type-C interface has no directional requirements, that is, the pairing can be completed by inserting the front and back, which greatly improves the usability of the USB interface.



    Other notebook manufacturers such as Apple have abandoned the USB interface and adopted the Type-C interface, and the appearance is one of the important reasons. Notebooks that only use the Type-C interface have a more compact and compact appearance, and the overall look and feel is better. Slim and lightweight is also the long-standing pursuit of notebook computers, and if the USB interface is used, the interface is relatively large, which will increase the thickness of the notebook and affect the appearance, and the feeling of integration will be greatly reduced.


    【High integration】

    The type-c interface is currently one of the most comprehensive interfaces that supports extended types. The type-c interface is only 1/2 the size of the USB type-a interface, and the full-featured type-c/thunderbolt interface not only has all the functions of the USB type-a interface, but also supports video output, network connection, PD fast Charging and external graphics card functions. Therefore, the multi-functional type-c interface has obviously become the best choice to replace the old-style laptop interface.


    At the same time, the current notebook computers with Type-C interface generally support the USB3.1 standard, the transmission speed can reach up to 10Gbps, and it can be connected to a 4K display. Another type-c interface, the thunderbolt interface, has a transmission speed of 40Gbps and can be connected to four 4K monitors for screen projection. The thunderbolt interface also supports an external discrete graphics card, which can greatly enhance the rendering capability of the computer GPU.


    【Supports faster and safer PD charging】

    In recent years, mobile phones using low-voltage fast charging technology have developed rapidly, and low-voltage fast charging technology has gradually occupied the market. Compared with high voltage and low current, the low voltage and high current charging method can achieve higher efficiency under the same power, but the requirements for the cable will be higher than that of the traditional cable (charging cable). The high-voltage and low-current fast charging technology has lower requirements for wires, but the defects brought by high-voltage and low-current are serious heat generation and low charging conversion efficiency. The number of contacts of the Type-C interface is several times that of the traditional interface, which makes the current it can withstand far greater than the traditional charging interface, which is more suitable for fast charging technology. And the chip of the Type-C interface is added with an E-marker chip that can identify each other to ensure that the Type-C interface can automatically identify the charging device to ensure charging safety and support two-way charging.



    Because type-c has more advantages than traditional USB type-a interface, so many computer manufacturers are willing to install USB type-c interface on their laptops. I believe that when type-c technology matures , after the cost of the type-c interface becomes lower, there will be more places where the type-c interface will be applied.


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