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Posts Tagged ‘usb-c’

Official (nearly) – Apple Dropping Thunderbolt for USB-C

Apple switching Thunderbolt to USB-C

We love to hear the big and small wins for USB technology. After 10 years, USB-C will win the battle as the connection socket of choice for iPhone products.

Why?

It is estimated the value of charging cables to be sold in 2022 is $2.6 billion dollars. If you estimate cable to be $10 USD, that is 260 million physical cables made. Yes, this is an estimated number, but that is a lot of potential waste given most already have charging cables.

The fundamental problem are the different cables needed for different devices. This is why USB is such a lovely technology. It is designed to be universal. Really, all electronic devices which can charge or communicate should connect via one physical method. We vote USB-C!

Who started it?

The EU started the push to codify the use of a single connector type for all electronic devices starting in 2018. The EU started this process in order to eliminate waste associated with one cable being shipped with every electronic device. Their goal is to reduce the number of charging cables manufactured to get the world closer to a carbon neutral position. EU wants all devices to use the same connection type by 2030.

Who tipped us off?

Today we learn from a well know parts analyst who covers the Apple products. Ming-Chi Kuo is an analyst who surveys different parts suppliers related to the supply-chain of product manufactured for Apple. Through the forecasting survey and questions, Kuo is able to accurately predict many upcoming trends and changes related to Apple products.

When will this start?

Based on parts forecasting and the ramp up of USB-C components, Kuo believes the change will happen in 2023.

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Port Hub for MacBook Connects via USB from Satechi

Port Hub, MacBook

Port Hub Provides Six Connection Options via USB

The Satechi Port Hub adapter extends the functionality of your M1 MacBook Pro laptop. It has all of the necessary ports, including a USB4 port, Gigabit Ethernet, a USB-C data port, two USB-A data ports, and an audio jack port. The Pro Hub Mini is the only adapter you need, with a plethora of options for fast data transfer and a modern aluminum design.

Designed to complement your MacBook ports, it includes two USB-A 3.0 data ports, one USB-C data port capable of up to 5 Gbps, Gigabit Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The port hub features Next-Gen USB4 technology and can charge your devices at a whopping 100W. You can also benefit from data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps and video output resolutions of up to 5K/60Hz.

By connecting the hub to the Thunderbolt ports of your MacBook Pro 14 & 16 inch, 2021, you will have access to all ports. The MagSafe 3 port is still usable and recommended for fast charging. We’ve also included an audio jack port clip that will fit perfectly into your MacBook Pro 14 & 16-inch, 2021 to keep it in place.

Having designed multiple technology products this product does ask the question about the relationship between the physical connection between the port hub and the Mac computer. From the image, as I have not tested this product, it appears the physical connection of the audio jack and two USB-C connectors will make for a durable mating.

However, people do stupid things and if the collective unit gets dropped on the floor (say slips of table’s edge) and falling on the port hub, I wonder what kind of damage that fall would have on the audio jack and USB ports.

My logic is thinking it being expensive to fix the internal USB ports of the laptop, given that would be required since it’s the only digital external connection this computer has. Food for thought.

Port Hub, USB-C

Consider buying this MacBook port hub from Amazon if this article provided any bit of useful information in the buying process

Important

  • To achieve 5K video output, you’ll need a computer, a thunderbolt cable, and a 5K monitor
  • The MacBook Pro (16 inch, M1 Pro/Max, 2021)’s MagSafe 3 port can charge up to 140W
  • The USB4 port can only charge up to 100W
  • Use the MagSafe 3 port directly on the computer for faster charging
  • Charging and CD drives are not supported by USB-A ports
  • The Audio Jack Port clip is only compatible with the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16 inch models released in 2021
  • The Hub can be used with older MacBooks with USB-C, but the Audio Jack Clip will not work

Original equipment manufacturer’s product webpage can be found here which is directly from the Satechi website.

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The Swiss Army Knife of USB-C Hubs

Did you buy one of those ultra-thin laptops and fall in love with the light weight, sleek size and powerful processor? Yet, sit there not be able to use all its power because you don’t have the ports to connect what you want? The 9 in 1 USB-C hub will solve your problems. You can do almost anything with it, just like your desktop.

The USB-C hub allows you to connect a monitor, speakers, headphones, SD card and 10BseT network cable at home (very useful). The hardwired Ethernet cable connection is clutch, but the other thing which is valuable to me is connecting a spare VGA monitor for a second screen.

USB-C hub

The 9 in 1 hub is compact, lightweight (like my laptop) and well built. The hub consists of wedged shaped aluminum tube with the taller side featuring the video ports. A circuit board is suspended inside by plastic inserts that also serve to align and cover the gaps in each port. The two end caps are press fitted into the tube without any additional adhesive. I doubt the device will fall apart if dropped, but if it does, easy enough to snap back together.

USB-C hub 9-in-1

Understanding the quality of a product requires one to take it apart and see how it’s manufacturer. The hub disassembles easily by popping off the plastic cap over the Ethernet port. The board inside then slides out without effort. The cap on the cable end can be removed to complete disassembly but is not required to full access the board. The USB-C cable is wired to the board through some form of displacement connector and secured with adhesive. The shielding on the cable is also ungrounded thus add minimal functional. Fortunately the cable is short enough it should have minimal effect on signal reliability.

All major components, other than the DAC, are older but from recognized manufacturers. The hub is wired with 2 of the 4 USB-C high speed lanes assigned to USB and the remaining lanes assigned to Display Port. This means USB operates without compromise while DP is limited to 2 lanes. This means higher bandwidth operation such as 4K 60Hz is not possible. The on-board 3A DC converter should supply ample power to all components. There should be no issues operating all ports simultaneously assuming low power USB devices are used.

USB-C hub internal pcb

  • The USB hub supports 2.4A fast charging; thus charging a single device quickly maybe possible. However, the hub itself is limited to 3A so charging multiple devices at high speeds will not work.
  • The HDMI output is limited to HDMI 1.4. But all non-3D HDMI display modes within the spec should be supported.
  • VGA output works in both widescreen (16:9) 1080p and 4:3 UXGA
  • Card reader functions simultaneously with both Micro SD and full size
  • 2-Ch DAC functions requires output from HDMI. It converts HDMI audio to analog 2-ch output.
  • Ethernet uses both link detection and EEE to conserve power both when idle and while operating. Shorter Ethernet cables/connection should result in less heat generated. Ethernet also supports various wake functions.

When compared to the OEM Microsoft branded Surface dock that sits around $200.00, there really isn’t a choice for most users. This dock is certainly worth it’s money at $30 (time of this post).

View all articles related to USB hub products posted by GetUSB.info.

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Power Over Ethernet to USB-C From Far Away

USB-C is great. Ultra fast data transfer rates close to 10Gbps and increased power to charge laptops, monitors and TVs. However; the power improvement from USB-C doesn’t last over longer cables. The USB-C (or USB 3) specification indicates the optical power and transfer rates will retain as long as the cable length is under two meters, or about six feet.

POE or Power over Ethernet, is a way to get both data and power to longer destinations via cable. PoE Texas has unveiled such a product for USB-C connections.

“As a standard USB-C offers amazing speed and power delivery. Unfortunately, USB-C can only transmit power less than ten feet (three meters), and the cable infrastructure comes at a cost premium. Ethernet cable, nearly ubiquitous in modern construction, can transmit power and data 328 feet (100 meters). USB-C power and data transmitted over Power Over Ethernet significantly lowers the cost of adopting USB-C by eliminating the need for new electrical infrastructure.”

Let’s give an example of how the PoE USB-C product could work – the following is a real life example from our own experience:

A user has a work station about 30 feet away from the production unit it needs to communicate with. The production unit is a USB-C duplicator by Nexcopy. The work station has a manager who controls the data to be loaded to USB-C flash drives, and the production unit, or USB duplicator, is manned by a production manager who physically connects and disconnects the USB sticks during the duplication process.

Because a standard USB-C cable cannot be used, as the distance is too far, the User could employ the USBC Power Over Ethernet product and get both the power and data to the destination.

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