The New USB Standard Will Turn Your Photo Transfers Up to 11, and It’s Reversible


As medium format and full-frame cameras get more affordable and file sizes cross the line from massive to outrageous, any increase in transfer and backup speeds is greatly appreciated. Which is why the new USB Type C standard should have photographers as excited as any other tech nerd out there.

Finalized just a couple of days ago, the USB Type-C Standard is only about the size of micro-USB, but don’t let the size fool you because it can carry some serious data.


A version of USB 3.1, it can transfer files at 10Gbps, can carry up to 100 Watts of power (power cable and super fast data transfer in one!) and, the coup de grâce, it’s reversible! No more plugging it in the wrong way, as long as you’re using the right port, this thing doesn’t care how you plug in.

The only downside is that, in order to make it reversible, they had to create a new port; in other words, your current machine won’t work with it. But while we wouldn’t suggest you hold your breath, chances are good the Type-C 3.1 standard will find its way into laptops very soon.

(via Engadget)

  • Joey Duncan

    At first I skeptical about the 100 watts, I assumed 5/12 volts, but reading retail sites, also backed by the wiki page it shows a charging solution of 20 volts, so 5a seems a little more reasonable with that connector.

    Incase anybody doesn’t want to settle for the reblog’s wording the spec can be downloaded here:

  • arkhunter

    How can something that takes about 80-90 watts (laptop), put out 100 watts? It would be nice I guess, but I’m only really interested in the 10 Gbps. :)

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    “and It’s Reversible” -> Maybe say “and it’s connector is reversible”?
    Looking at the headline, I didn’t really understand what was being conveyed.

  • OtterMatt

    Thank you oh dear Lord thank you. USB is so outdated it’s crazy.

  • OtterMatt

    Because the difference is voltage perhaps? P=I*V
    All you’d have to do to make the difference is take in power at 18V and send it out at 20V, and that’s assuming 5A consistent (which it isn’t, but the math is simple at least).

  • gochugogi

    Means male USB connectors can transform into female!

  • gochugogi

    The current USB 3 at 5Gbps outpaces just about everything save for Thunderbolt and is fast enough for most mere mortals. USB 3.1 looks like direct competition to Thunderbolt.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Herma connectors? I think you just invented something! (^_^) Patent it!

  • Adrian S

    Cables need to be compatible with the old versions. This will require that the voltage will remain 5V and for 100W the cable and connections need to be able to handle 20 Amps. A sata power connector has 3 pins for each wire, and at least 1 pin is used to pre-power the electronics. But the main reason there are more pins is because the wanted to increase the contact surface and provide a better connection. One HDD will take less then 10W. 20A on a wire or connectors will make them red hot.

    So if then need to change all connectors and change the voltage, they might as well NOT call it USB.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Ya, I don’t think USB is outdated. I wonder why folks have that perception? I’m a Mac person and I still appreciate USB.

  • OtterMatt

    USB is great and all, but we live in an age where our data is larger and takes more bandwidth. Hell, transferring a movie onto a thumb drive takes 10+ minutes sometimes. USB 3.0 might be faster, but it’s hardly what you’d call mainstream. Most people don’t upgrade their desktop or laptop every other year, so the average person either doesn’t know they have it or (more likely) just doesn’t have it on their computer. Also, portable media (e.g., thumb drives) isn’t typically configured for USB 3.0.
    A new overall standard will be fantastic, especially if it can be made ubiquitous.

  • Renato Murakami

    My hopes is that this standard will be the ONLY USB standard… as in, no mini a, mini b, micro a, micro b, standard a, standard b, blah blah blah.

    There are currently around 20 USB plug standards, most people knows only a handful of them, but every once in a while I get some gadget with this weird plug I never seen before only to find out it’s also USB.

    Not that I hate USB or anything.. open standards will always win for me over proprietary. But it was getting ridiculous. Reversibility is nice and all, but it was the least of my worries… the problem is having to carry around a bag filled with cables and adapters.

    I suspect though that they had to come up with USB Type-C because no smartphone, camera or other devices were willing to accept the frankly stupid micro USB 3.0 standard… here’s a photo of both type A and B (I have a USB 3.0 hub that uses it):

  • Vin Weathermon

    I just want reliable connectors that won’t completely fail and cause my phone to become essentially useless because the connector is mounted on the circuit board, and too flimsy to handle daily use. Speed? Pah…is fine. Charging power? good enough. Solid for years of wear? Nope. Maybe this will improve things…or maybe it will just cause the same amount of hardware failure grief.

  • Gabriele Profita

    My Lenovo Thinkpad power adapter is 170W ;-)

  • arkhunter