USB Type-C charging is now a real option

By Paul Hulatt, product manager, GCT

Simultaneous data and video transfer along with fast-speed charging capabilities through a universal port is leading the growth of USB Type-C connectors used in tablets, smartphones and laptops. The USB Type-C is compact, more convenient and more durable than its predecessors with the most advanced supporting everything from dual 4K displays and up to 100W charging. A recent IHS Markit report forecasts a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 70 percent, growing from 300 million devices in 2016 to just under five billion devices in 2021.

At GCT, we have developed a comprehensive portfolio of USB products over the past 20 years. The standard was originally introduced to connect peripheral devices to host computers. As a rule, computers used USB Type-A connectors while peripheral devices used the USB Type-B format. Although the standard USB Type-B connector can still be found on large devices such as printers, the need for ever smaller devices resulted in the introduction of the microUSB 2.0 Type-B connector, which has grown in popularity. So much so that the EU made it the standard IO for charging almost ten years ago and, as such, it remains the engineer’s connector of choice.

There is a rise of devices requiring change only functionality. A good example is consumer technology, such as headphones and speakers, which are quickly moving to wireless data transfer. Since its introduction four years ago, developers have been exploring the feasibility of using USB Type-C. Its fast charging capability, small size and reversible form factor are highly attractive features for development engineers. However, up until now, the additional cost of the PCB receptacle has been a barrier.

To address this, our engineering team has worked closely with these engineers to develop a charge only version. By sacrificing the SuperSpeed differential pair contacts, 8 in total, the modified 16-pin construction of the GCT USB4085 USB Type-C provides all the required full charge capabilities with streamlined USB 2.0 functionality. It gives engineers the real option of improving the charging capability of their designs at a price that is well within reach.

"Its fast charging capability, small size and reversible form factor are highly attractive features for development engineers. However, up until now, the additional cost of the PCB receptacle has been a barrier"

We have witnessed continued growth for microUSB, with a 29% CAGR volume increase over the last 3 years, and it remains one of our strongest selling connector lines. However, the demand for USB Type-C charging is clear.  The GCT USB4085 Type-C is now a real alternative to microUSB, offering a much faster charge rate, USB 2 data functionality and the added benefit of a reversible form factor, with less impact on build cost. We expect similar growth rates for the USB Type-C power only connector within the next three to four years.


For more information on the USB4085 Type Charging focused connector and to request a free sample, please click on the buttons at the top of the page

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