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USB Type C Connector

USB Type C Connector, a robust and tiny I/O interconnect system defined by the universal serial bus Type-C specification released August 2014, offers a plethora of new functionality and features.

The new connector system is USB-IFs response to the Apple Lighting connector system, allowing users to plug cable assemblies to the device either way around. Compared to the popular and economical Micro USB2.0 connector, type C greatly improves speed and functionality. The key improvement is the ability to plug the cable in either way around, no more fiddling to plug in cables and less chance of breaking consumer devices, all with mating cycles of ten thousand insertions between connector and cable.

Compared with the existing µUSB’s five contacts, the type C connector has twenty four contacts. The specification defines five different physical versions – horizontal top and mid mount types will be available in SMT and hybrid, which is a mix of twelve thru hole and twelve SMT contacts. The horizontal hybrid types allow better control over co-planarity of SMT contacts and alignment of thru hole pins. From an inspection point of view the hybrid allows customers to inspect 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.

Mid mount is used in super low profile applications, a hole is routed in the PCB and the connector drops into that hole, supported by two outer shell stakes, this achieves a height above the PCB of 2.00mm, perfect for super thin platform applications such as tablets and wearables.

Engineers may choose vertical or horizontal PCN mount receptacles. Horizontal PCB mount customers will no longer wrestle with the confusing top and bottom PCB mount designations, this connector mounts on the top or bottom of a PCB, with no thought required.

You can see from the below graphic, the expected impact of USB type C on connector choice within a system, as Type-C supports HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA. We expect USB type C to vastly simplify systems.

USB Typ C solution problem
USB Typ C solution answer

Combined with the USB3.1 specification this system handles up to 5 amps offering directional control and power level management. This is a significant improvement and jump to a much higher level of power management, up to 100 watts, which will deliver fast charging. GCT tested our connectors to the stringent temperature rise specifications required for USB Power Delivery, our high grade contact material products pass that test. Beware of low cost products on the market which don’t achieve these standards.

Speed increases from USB3.0 micro connectors top speed of 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps, with future speeds anticipated to reach 20 Gbps. As of May 2016 the USB-IF compliance testing remains unreleased.

GCT's products are produced to stringent manufacturing and process control, this includes 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.

USB Typ C Power Delivery
USB Typ C reversible

Another feature of the GCT design is drawn metal inner shells on horizontal products, 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. Another benefit is the drawn inner shell provides greater strength in very high mating cycle applications, the seam being a likely weak point.

The USB Type C connector may be used in many applications, but specifically in wearable technology, tablets, PC's, mobile phones, consumer electronics devices and other handheld devices with a need for functionality, speed and small footprint.

GCT offer product drawings, specifications and 3D models, all available for instant download.

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