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Posts Tagged ‘connector’

Universal USB Type A Connector – Doesn’t Matter What Side Is Plugged In

There are some USB articles floating around right now about the USB type A connector and how it takes three tries for a connection. Well, we do agree with them but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a universal USB connector for the Type A, it’s just not that readily available.

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Pictures first, here are three up-close pictures of the universal USB connector

universal USB connector

universal type A connector

picture of universal USB connector

Physically, a USB type-A connector appears to be symmetrical. It’s rectangular in shape with no clear marking of a top or bottom. I think most have figured out the seem on the USB is the bottom side, the smooth side would be the top. HDMI for example is very easy to distinguish top and bottom because each side is shaped a little differently. However, the type A connector is not symmetrical! Looking inside the connector one will see a slight position change of the internal USB connector. One side up – one side down.

It is unclear why this USB connector type has not gained more traction with vendors and manufactures. Our company received samples of this several years ago with the comment product would change to this connector type; however, that shift has never come to fruition.

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Apple 30 Pin Connector Supports USB 3.0

Did you know Apple will license it’s male 30 pin connector technology to just about anyone, but they will never license the female 30 pin portion of their connector?  For most, not a big deal, for some, they’d love to have that ability. Things could get interesting down the road as Apple was just awarded another patent for their 30 pin connector.  This time the pin-out includes support for data and power communication to 3.0 devices and also Thunderbolt devices.  What does this mean? It means Apple will be able to keep their slim line design and proprietary connector interface via their 30 pin connector.  The new design will still communicate with 3.0 devices, but without the traditional USB port interface.  A bit brilliant if you ask me. With the increased sales volume of Apple products, this new connector type could become an industry standard – oh wait – it can’t – because Apple wont license their female part of the connector.  This means tablets like the Motorola Zoom and others could not pivot off the 30 pin design.  But rather stay with traditional power pins and USB interface.  This gives Apple the edge up on keeping their products slimmer and thus more light weight. What do you think? Continue Reading

USB 3.0 Sockets and Jacks Shape Made Public

Not to anyone’s surprise…the USB 3.0 jacks and sockets look exactly the same.  Go figure, as part of the specification is to be backward compatible.  But taking a closer look, you do see some differences.

usb 3.0 socket

The folks from Register Hardware had a peak at the USB 3.0 connectors while at CES 2008 this year.  As you can see from the image below, the USB 3.0 sockets have an additional row of connectors.  The connectors located in front are to keep the backward compatibility to USB 1.1 and USB 2.0.  The connectors placed behind this first row are for USB 3.0.

usb 3.0 socket schematic

The new USB 3.0 specification is promising transfer speeds 10 times greater than current 2.0 standards – to that of 4.7Gb/s.  There is also a fiber optics connector which hasn’t been made available yet. As the USB 3.0 specification is expected to be finalized sometime in June of 2008 – we can expect to see product following by the end of this year.  Although I am looking forward to the new, faster USB 3.0 spec, not everyone shares the same love.  Here is what some are saying: Continue Reading

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