The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has begun developing the next generation of USB connector, dubbed USB Type-C connector.
Built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, USB Type-C is being developed to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB. This supplement to the USB 3.1 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of next year.
Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include an entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs; a similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B; usability enhancements - users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation/cable direction; support for scalable power charging and; scalability - the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance.
As the new USB Type-C plug and receptacle will not directly mate with existing USB plugs and receptacles (Type-A, Type-B, Micro-B, etc.), the Type-C specification will define passive new-to-existing cables and adapters to allow users to use their existing products.
The USB Type-C specification is targeted for industry review during the first quarter of 2014 and a final specification is expected to be published by the middle of 2014.