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USB type A to Type C cables

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Tsuf, Apr 9, 2016.

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  1. Tsuf

    Tsuf Thread Starter

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    Re the new usb type C and usb version 3.1 I get that the type is the physical connector, and that the 3.1 is the latest standard a port could utilize. What I don't get is the type A to type C connector cables. This is fine for connecting backward to 2.0 , or 3.0 etc. But how can a type A port (and connector) support all the features of 3.1 ? All my reading (dozens of discussions) have not said anything about this. It seems 3.1 requires a lot of wires, more than a Type A connector/port has, is that true, meaning Type A cannot carry full 3.1 features. Or in other words, no Type A port will ever support full 3.1?
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Hi Tsuf, and welcome to TSG.

    USB Type A connectors come in all versions of USB, including 3.1. As you noted, the version 3.1 plugs and sockets have more contacts. The extra contacts are configured such that they do not interfere with normal operation when connected to a lower version mating connector. For example I have a portable HDD that supports aUSB 3.1 data rate. It came with a cable that has a USB 3.1 Type A plug. It plugs into a USB 2.0 Type A port on my older desktop computer without any problem and data is moved to and from the HDD at USB 2.0 rates.
     
  3. Tsuf

    Tsuf Thread Starter

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    Thx, appreciate the welcome. Followup question, then a type A physical port can be wired with enough wires to allow full version 3.1 ? So having 4 or 5 wires in typical Type A socket is not um.... the only configuration option? Is my understanding that full 3.1 requires more than 5 wires correct? That implies a type A to Type c cable has a type A end with a lot more contacts .... or am I still confused/ I get the backward compatibility with re to ports. My confusion is whether any type A port can function as full 3.1. I assume future full 3.1 function will just mean a Type C port, and Type A no longer being used.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Yes, a Type A USB computer receptacle can made to have enough contacts (nine of them) to support USB 3.1 and 3.0 communications. The way the contacts are laid out, four of the nine contacts are in the same position and serve the same functions to allow the use of a USB 2.0 and older Type A plug

    A Type C Plug to Type A Plug adapter cable would have a nine contact Type A plug and support full USB 3.1 data rates.

    It is possible that at some time in the future, for computer manufactures to reduce the number of Type A receptacles or eliminate them completely and have mostly or all type C ports. At that point, I would not be surprised to see adapter cables with a Type C plug on one end and a Type A receptacle on the other. They would to support plugging in what would then be older flash drives having USB Type A plugs into computer with only Type C ports.
     
  5. Tsuf

    Tsuf Thread Starter

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    Thx, good explanation. Now I got it. I assume the 12 wire 3.1 ports/cables are for 2.0 power spec, and that 3.1 type A would not be able to implement the larger power spec.
     
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