Tuesday, September 23

Geek

Did USB Just Kill Thunderbolt?

Not quite.

USB 3.0 is pretty neat.  If you're used to USB 2, the performance jump (from 480Mbps half-duplex to 5Gbps full-duplex) can be startling.  And it's cheap and if not ubiquitous, then at least widespread.

The connectors, though, are crap.  One end exists in a weird subspace with 720° rotational symmetry; the other is just plain ugly.

USB Type C fixes that, with a single, simple, compact, reversible connector.  The cable is the same at both ends and works either way up.

Also, it supports USB 3.1, bumping the speed to 10Gbps.

And it supports up to 100W of power, up from 7.5W.

And now it supports DisplayPort.  You can have a 4K monitor at 60Hz plus USB 3.1 over a single USB cable.  Or you can have a 5K monitor at 60Hz, but only with USB 2.0, because it needs all the wires for video data.

There's just one fly in the ointment: At full speed, it's only specified to work over a 1 metre cable.  At half speed, you get 2 metres.  So perfect for docking your laptop or tablet (because you get 100W of power at the same time) but kind of iffy for the desktop.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:52 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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