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What is a USB Type C Connector?

USB Type C Interface Types

The USB Type C Connector is a robust and compact I/O interconnect system released August 2014 and is the latest form factor introduced to the USB range. 

Being the most recent addition, it also offers a variety of new functionality and features previously unseen for USB connectivity.  This includes a reversible mating form factor and elevated levels of performance when it comes to power delivery and data transfer speeds. With over 10,000 mating cycles as standard, the USB Type C connector is the great choice for those looking for the latest technology for their designs with added benefit of best in class performance.

Features of USB Type C

Power Up to 5A

For Mobile

Fast 20Gbit/s (USB3.2)

Low Profile from 3.26mm

Reversible

Mating Cycles up to 10,000

USB Type-C PCB Orientations & Mounting Types

Type-C USB PCB Orientations and Mounting Types
Vertical Mount Plug - Mounted at 90° on PCB. Example shown USB4151
Vertical Mount Receptacle - Mounted at 90° on PCB. Example shown USB4070
Top Mount - Connector is soldered to the top side of the PCB. Example shown USB4110
Mid Mount (Top) - A hole is routed in the PCB and the connector drops onto the top or bottom of the PCB and is soldered in place. Mid mount is mainly used in super low profile applications. Example shown USB4050
Mid Mount (Bottom) - A hole is routed in the PCB and the connector drops onto the top or bottom of the PCB and is soldered in place. Mid mount is mainly used in super low profile applications. Example shown has a short body of 8.65mm deep USB4060
Bottom Mount - Top Mount PCB mounted connectors can be soldered to the top or bottom of the PCB, taking advantage of USB Type C's reversible interface. Example shown USB4065

ionex® Charging Focused USB Type C Connectors

ionex® is an innovative USB Type C range from GCT aimed at charging based applications. By re-engineering the connector to have sixteen pins instead of twenty four, ionex® is one of the most price competitive range of Type C connectors available in the market today. This now makes Type C a real option for designs over other USB types where costs were previously a barrier.

There are currently three ionex® variants available in this expanding range. To find out more about this break through Type C product range, visit our dedicated ionex® page.

IONEX Type-C USB Charging Connectors

USB4085 - Through hole Type C Charging Connector

View USB4085

USB4110 - Surface mount Type C Charging Connector

View USB4110

USB4105 - Surface mount with thru hole stakes Type C Charging Connector with full 5A charging capability

View USB4105

Further USB Type C Information

gct usb type c
  • USB type C has twenty four contacts as standard. There are also versions that utilise fewer contacts, such as GCT's ionex Type C range for charging specific applications.
  • Horizontal top and mid mount types are available in SMT and hybrid, which is a mix of twelve thru hole and twelve SMT contacts.
  • Horizontal hybrid types allow better control over co-planarity of SMT contacts and alignment of thru hole pins
  • Hybrid variants allows customers to examine the connectors post processing, as viewing the inner rows of contacts on pure SMT parts is difficult. The hybrid type may be processed using paste in hole, which allows a single process.

Speeds and the future

The USB3.2 specification handles up to 20Gbit/s and up to 5 amps offering directional control and power level management. This is a significant improvement to a much higher level of power management, up to 100 watts to deliver fast charging. GCT Type C products are tested to the stringent temperature rise specifications required for USB Power Delivery and successfully pass due to the high grade contact material products used in our connectors. 

The USB3.2 specification launched in 2017 and offers enhanced SuperSpeed+ data transfer modes of up to 20Gbit/s by utilising two-lane operation. More recently, the new USB4.0 specification was announced at the end of 2019 and promises to make even greater gains in performance in the USB Type C form factor.  Expected release of USB4.0 specification is 2021.

USB Type C Power Delivery

GCT USB Type C Connectors and innovations

USB Type C drawn shell

GCT's products are produced to stringent manufacturing and process control, including insert molded contacts and insulators. This process offers a high level of product strength and prevention from terminals crumpling, unlike some competitors using hand inserted contacts, which are more liable to crumple under mating. Insert molding also offer guaranteed co-planarity of SMT leads and alignment of DIP pins.

Another feature of the GCT Type C design is drawn metal inner shells on horizontal products (excluding ionex), the inner shell is created by pulling metal into shape, when formed it creates a shell without any seams or holes. To offer superior EMI performance the horizontal products have a dual shell, the outer shell is pressed and formed in a conventional way, it contains a seam and elements are cut out to form shell stakes, which hold the part in place during processing and provide strength on PCB post solder processing. The inner shell then become the main seamless barrier to protect from EMI interference. The drawn inner shell also provides greater strength in very high mating cycle applications, the seam being a likely weak point.

GCT offer a wide variety of resources to speed up your designs, including product drawings, specifications and 3D models, all available for instant download.

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