USB-A and USB-C: What's the difference?

USB Type-a and USB Type-C are wire connections interfaces. We understand what they differ from each other and what relation to them has USB 3.1.

The types of wired connection set. These include VGA, COM, HDMI, USB and many others. USB Type-a and USB Type-C is only the top of the iceberg, but we will only talk about them today. These two types of ports are very common, they are also in personal computers, and in numerous periphery. When buying any device, it will be worth it to find out what type of connection it supports, since this information will help to understand that the technique can do and how to squeeze the maximum from it.

What is USB-A?

Let's start with the fact that the USB connection implies the use of the port of the main device (host), the connecting cable and the port of the receiving device. Ports carry different functions and vary outwardly.

USB connection type A is often called full-size USB. This type is widespread and easily recognizable.

USB Type-A is a large, horizontally located connector of a rectangular shape with sharp corners. Inside it is a plastic panel of black, white or blue with a set of contacts. This is the same connector that you need to "observe" before use: the plug is included in the socket only in one position.

USB-A appeared in the middle of the nineties. In zero, he began to meet everywhere. They are equipped with keyboards, mice, webcams, plunks, cameras and connecting cables. The popularity of USB Type-A is due to the fact that this interface is reliable, universal and provides a high data transfer rate (480 Mbps). At the same time, it supports not only the connection of peripheral devices, but also their recharging.

At the other end of the cable with USB Type-A, the USB Type-B connector may be located. USB-B is the port of the receiving device (for example, printer ), which connects to the host (computer). It is also easy to find out: a connection of type B has a square shape.

There are many subtypes USB-A and USB-B: USB Mini A, USB Micro A, Mini B, Micro AB, etc. Their structural features deserve a separate material, while we will not concern them.

What is USB-C?

Over time, USB Type-A capabilities have ceased to meet the needs of users, and there has been a more fast and compact connection. USB-C is a relatively new interface, it appeared in 2014. In shape, it differs from USB-A: This is also a rectangle, but a much smaller size and with strongly rounded corners. Today, Type-C is one of the most widely used types of connection in consumer devices.

Its key features:

  • Compactness and convenience (the USB-C plug is inserted into the connector to any side).
  • Current transmission with a power up to 100 W (in some cases up to 130 W).
  • The ability to serve power to energy-intensive devices, such as laptops.
  • Higher data transfer rate (up to 10 Gbps).
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  • The ability to transfer video to 4K.
  • Universality - you can replace multiple specific connectors, including HDMI and VGA.
  • Potential compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 (with additional equipment, the USB-C port can be used as Thunderbolt 3).

USB-C is better than USB-A and all so on?

As mentioned above, USB Type-C is faster and versatile compared to USB-a. Over time, he will repay the old interfaces, but it will not happen soon.

Currently, computers and laptops are equipped with both types of connectors. It is necessary to avoid problems with the connection of old technology: there is plenty of telephones, of gamepads, keyboards, printers and other peripherals, which requires the USB-A / A or USB-A / B connection.

In addition, not all users are ready to acquire adapters to USB-C in order to use the old technique through a new connection standard. But as old devices come out of use, USB-C gets more widespread.

What is USB 3.1?

USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 - data transmission protocols when connected via USB. These terms do not relate to the physical description of the connectors. They indicate at what speed the device can exchange data.

The USB 3.0 standard laid the beginning of the chain of important changes. First of all, he demanded to modify the Type-A design to expand the capabilities of the connection (the USB-C standard began to be developed). Subsequent changes touched on the greater account only the data transfer rate.

The USB 3.1 protocol and the USB-C port was developed in parallel, which is why USB-C always works via USB 3.1 (although it is technically implemented in it and USB 2.0). At the moment there are two generations USB 3.1: USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2. The second is expanding the original USB-C capabilities, for example, allows you to transmit data at a speed of up to 10 Gbps.

USB-A and USB-C ports can support various protocols - from USB 2.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 2. Typically, this information is specified in the specifications of the device. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that manufacturers use different protocols names, and sometimes confusion occurs: USB 3.1 Gen 1 is mistakenly called USB 3.0.

USB 3.1 has compatibility with other USB connections: if the Laptop port supports USB 3.1 protocol, you can connect an old USB flash drive to it with USB 2.0. But there is a pair of nuances: to use the Type-C connector, adapter may be required, and the maximum data transfer rate is possible only if the USB cable and the connected device are supported.

Instead of concluding

, too complicated? Then remember the main one.

  • USB-A and USB-C are connectors and plugs of different shapes. USB-A is a large rectangular, USB-C is small and more like an elongated oval than on a rectangle.
  • USB 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 - data transfer standards.
  • USB-A and USB-C may have different standards, the connection speed depends on it.
  • USB 3.1 is compatible with other standards, but only USB-C can use the potential of USB 3.1 Gen 2.
  • cable and connected devices should also support technology 3.1 for full-fledged work.
  • A USB 3.2 will appear soon. It will give new advantages in terms of speed, but will make even greater confusion in understanding USB standards.