Get ready to toss your old USB cables as a new Type C cable is going to be the standard moving forward sometimes in 2014. According to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, the new Type C connector is supplement to the USB 3.1 specification. The device is target to be reviewed in first quarter of 2014 with the final specification published in the middle of 2014.
The new connector is about the size of the current USB 2.0 Micro-B connector (think about the smartphone connector). However, the exciting feature with the new connector is the ability to plug in the connector in any orientation, much like the lightning connector on the iOS devices. In addition, the connector will be used on both ends of the cable so that you can use the cable in either directly. Current implantation of the USB cable has the USB Type A (big rectangular) connector that connects to the charger or the PC on one end and the micro USB connector on the other end for the device. With the Type-C, not only we no longer need to care about which way we plug it into our device, we also do not need to worry about which end to plug into the charger and which end goes into the device.
Another feature with the upcoming connector is the support for scalable power charging. Current USB 3.0 can only draw up to 900mA of power at 5V or 4.5 watts. The USB 3.0 allows the device to draw higher power up to 100W. This means that we can finally use USB to charge not just our mobile phones but other computing devices like laptops and tablets, and even desktops.
USB has been around since 1990 and it is on many electronic devices. While the new connector brings higher bandwidth, scalable power delivery, convenience and usability, it will take some time for it to replace many devices that are currently still using USB Type A and Type B connectors. There will be adapters for the older devices to use with the new cable/connector.