USB-C Connector

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What Does USB-C Connector Mean?

USB-C (Universal Serial Bus Type-C) is an industry-standard for transmitting both data and power over a single cable. The benefits of USB-C include increased data transfer rates (DTRs) and faster charging capabilities.


USB-C connectors have a small rectangular shape with rounded edges. Its design is symmetrical and each end of a USB-C cable has both downstream and upstream connectors. This means that end users do not need to be concerned with orientation when plugging in a USB-C cable.

USB Type-C supports the 3.2 and 3.1 versions of the USB specification. It is also backward compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

Techopedia Explains USB-C Connector

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface was developed in the mid-1990s and is standardized by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).

Originally, the standard defined two types of connectors: A-Type and B-Type. Although there have been several revisions of USB since the original standards were implemented, until recently many USB products still used A or B connectors to connect computing devices to USB 3.1, USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Adaptor cables allow one end of a USB Type-C cable to be plugged into an older USB A-Type or USB B-Type port and improve data transfer rates dramatically.

  • A USB-C plugged into a USB 3.1 port can transfer 10 gigabytes of data per second.
  • A USB-C plugged into a 3.2 port can transfer 20 gigabytes of data per second.
  • A USB-C plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port can transfer 40 gigabytes of data per second.

Some experts predict that USB-C will eventually be replaced by USB4. USB4 has even high data transfer rates and can also support a single 8K display or two 4K displays. USB4 is expected to continue using USB-C connectors as a delivery mechanism for data and power and will be backwards-compatible with previous versions of USB, including USB 2.0.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.