New USB Type-C connector and cable can also offer DisplayPort support

When products that use the recently finalized USB Type-C connector and cable start launching in smartphones, tablets and notebooks, they will also be able to support DisplayPort audio and video, thanks to a newly announced agreement between the USB 3.0 Promoter Group and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA).

The new feature is being called the DisplayPort Alternate Mode, or Alt Mode. According to VESA:

Using the DisplayPort Alt Mode, a USB Type-C connector and cable can deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1) data and up to 100 watts of power–over a single cable. The DisplayPort Alt Mode can also drive adaptors that support the huge installed base of existing DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA displays.

The press release added that those cables and connections can also connect to a DisplayPort device using a reversible USB Type-C to DisplayPort converter cable. So far there's no word on exactly when the first USB Type-C products and cables will go on sale, but they are expected to become available sometime in early 2015. Do you think adding DisplayPort support to USB Type-C is a good idea?

Source: VESA

John Callaham
  • Whoa... This seems really cool! Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 AC App via Nexus 5
  • +2 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Bring it already! I need moar cords in my life! Maybe it's because we are fans, but damn, fast charging and display ability should be standardized already. Imo, of course. Sent from my Note 3, soon to be Note 4 rommed, with $ in my pocket. Unless I cave and buy one.
  • I'm more excited about the port being reversible!
  • Like my raincoat!
  • The reversibility is key. The lightening charger is great for the iOS devices in that aspect. AC App via Nexus 5
  • could they also include rapid charging like the OPPO Find 7?
  • Considering it supports up to 100 watts, I don't see why not. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's not rapid charging.. That's super duper dook dook banana crazy charge master flex 2000. Charge your device in 10 minutes! It's coming.
  • Lol... OPPO Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Now that would be a reason to hold off on getting the latest greatest phone. Assuming that this became the new standard instead of USB 3.0.
  • USB Type-C connectors use the 3.1 spec :p
  • Exactly! Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Having it support video and be reversible is great tech and not before time. Hopefully this will be standard for the next 5 years once it's released). Not as big a problem as it was/is for the apple ipod cable - lightning issues - I doubt many people invested in docks/hifi systems using micro-usb (mostly because ipod rightly or wrongly ruled the roost). Most systems just use bluetooth or connect via a usb cable, one that you would just swap to the new usb 3 cable. Hopefully it won't take long until we have cheapie cables to replace our stash of mico-usb cables!
  • I know it supports high resolution, but I can't bring myself to plug in a cord since Chromecast started the mirroring feature. Works great, connects in seconds and will only get better. I have slimport/mhl adaptors, and they are way jank compared. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe someday I will be able to mirror my Moto X... :(
  • Great, yet another connector type...
  • Which will hopefully be standard soon. I would definitely like to have this be standard than the current microUSB cables, since they are reversible.
  • True... but the time it'll take for this to become the norm is what has me cringing. Maybe it would be better if a standard wireless charging method is set and wireless chargers become as cheap as USB cables. One can only dream :)
  • USB Type C is a new standard designed to replace both MicroUSB and Type A, making it the standard connector of USB3.1. It's got support from most manufacturers that have USB in their products, and it was specifically designed with input from mobile device manufacturers. It's also designed with Wireless USB in mind implemented in partnership with the upcoming WiGig(Wireless Gigabit) standard. More details about Type C can be found in this Ars Technica article:
  • I think you missing the point if your thinking of this as merely a connector to charge you phone. It will become the standard for PCs and such. It more then just charging but actually data transfer. The focus on wireless charging is not gonna stop but a method to physically connect your device to PC or other hardware will always be needed.
  • Not missing the point. Just wondering about how long it will take for this to take effect. Remember when USB came out? Serial cables and USBs all around, mixed. MiniUSB and MicroUSB. 10 phones had it, 15 didn't... New standards are cool, they're useful, they're better. It's the transition period that we need to endure that gets me. If it came out and everyone said: OK folks, from this point forward EVERYONE will use the same standard, I'd be fine. But when it comes out it's only a handful manufacturers (or a bunch) that use it, and then everyone else waits to see if it catches on, or a competitor format shows up to mix things up (remember HD DVD?).
  • There is nothing in the computer world that is or will be a standard. Tech moves way too fast Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I agree, I still have to keep around a mini USB cable for a device or two along with the micro for my phone, just what I need, a third cable to have to carry around also for the newest devices...
  • Luckily, all of the mobile manufacturers (apart from one holdout) have agreed to using a standard connector for all their devices. At the moment this is micro-usb, and I'm sure that will change to type c when available. I reckon it will take about a year for the switch to be made for all models, but the top-end ones will switch pretty quickly. The main problem will come from your older devices and having to keep two (or three) different cables. Hopefully the first handsets will include an adaptor to make things a bit easier.
  • If this was just a charging cable, I'd agree, but its more than that.
  • This may be more useful in the aftermarket car audio market. Posted via Android Central App
  • Does "become available" mean that they will be available in consumer devices, or available for manufacturers to start putting them in prototypes for a late 2015 early 2016 models? Or is that purposefully vague?
  • The spec was finalized and given to manufacturers. Products using it are expected to ship sometime mid to late 2015.
  • One thing Apple got right was their charging/data cord, Lightning. Simple insert capabilities and no chance of bending/breaking the pinset unlike micro USB. I was hoping the next gen USB would have changed to something like Lightning.
  • While I agree it's good for being reversible, etc... it's also bad because it's proprietary and they charge an arm and a leg for it.
  • Yeah, I wish USB could have changed to that style but I bet patents would prevent it. It would have probably been too similar. I hate that micro usb has to plug into a mini circuit board type thing rather than the port just being hollow.
  • I hate when I fail to realize that my power coord has fallen out of my MacBook Pro AGAIN.. these suckers are so loosely fixed (the magnetic thingie) that it should be punishable ... Reversible: cool
    Magnetic: fubar
  • 1. That's the way it's supposed to be. Have you ever tripped over the cord or pulled your laptop just far enough away from the outlet that the Magsafe adapter popped off? Yeah, that usually doesn't happen with regular laptops, meaning they usually get jerked off the table and onto the floor, unless of course the direction the cord was jerked just happens to be in-line with the plug.
    2. That's why the little green/orange indicator light is there...
  • Hmm didn't think of that.. good point :)
  • Also, try swiping a q-tip (or a few) into the magnetic portion (female end) of the adapter to get up any magnetic debris stuck in there. I've got a 2009 Macbook Pro and have done this only once, and it's still just as sticky as the day I bought it.
  • A universal cable to support all the above and be reversible. The possibilities are greatly multiplied.
  • I want this in my next phone so bad. I know it won't happen in this years Nexus, and that makes me sad.
  • If there is a Nexus 3 years from now guess what? It won't happen. Still too new Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • The reversible port thing will be nice. That's one thing Apple chargers are nice for is that cool easy to use thunderbolt connector. This new USB plug may still not be as nice but it will be better than a port that requires the proper orientation of the plug. Unfortunately it is going to take years to convert all products and then there are the older products we use and never upgrade that will need the old plugs for many, many years.
  • Type C is still USB3.1 and is fully backwards compatible with all previous USB Standards. You'll just need to get a cheap plug adapter to use them with a computer with Type C ports. The only issue will be something like a phone with Type C as older computers might not have the required power output or not support all the new features the phone provides. But most USB3.0 ports should work with Type C devices without issue, provided you have the adapter of course.
  • I doubt it since this will not even be available until 2015...
  • Impossible, the standard was just finalized. Don't expect anything until around mid-2015.
  • Mid-2015? Dang!!! I certainly hope the Galaxy S6 has it! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Now I don't want to bug any phones until this comes in standard. One port to rule them all, just need to buy the adapter. Posted via Android Central App
  • Unless you just got a phone in the last 6 months, you're probably better off upgrading now, it could take a year or more for the products to include this. It could even be 2016 before the majority have it.
  • 2015! Even though that's only months away, it cant come soon enough. Good idea..... Great IDEA! I'm so tired of the micro usb connectors its not even funny.
  • Too little too late. I have 2 chromecast's in my home that I can send my screen wireless. Posted via Android Central App
  • Because having options is bad? Posted via Android Central App
  • Anyone know how soon this is going to start being incorporated into smartphones? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Depends on the phone Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • If anyone has a watched the video attached to the pre-order article for the Note 4 it seems this will debut on said note 4. Or I am just wishfully thinking because the charger port on the note 3 was trash. I have swapped out my note 3 three times. My note 2 never had to be swapped out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wishful thinking. Samsung went back to Micro USB 2.0 on the Note 4 because very few people took advantage of the faster data transfer speeds of the Micro USB 3.0 port on the Note 3 and GS5 and you can charge just as quickly with Micro USB 2.0.
  • Note 4 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I
  • Even tho the convenience factor of a totally reversible connector is nice, USB 3.0/3.1 is still mostly unnecessary on a phone or a camera. Flash speed even on high end devices and flash media is rarely enough to saturate USB 2.2, and when it is it's usually only for read operations from the phone... It's similarly unnecessary from a charging standpoint. That being said, Samsung was pushing the awful and larger USB 3.0 micro connector for a while, they might adopt this early just for the novelty and the better connector... Everyone else would follow suit, I mean, it's still backwards compatible and people rarely plug in their phones anyway. Different/extra cable, sure, but they'll be cheap quick. To those praising Apple's Lighting connector, you should look into how often those cables fail due to the exposed pins... iPhone cable deaths have gone up dramatically since Lighting. :p Type C might be weaker at the port (maybe, the connector really doesn't exert any torque on that inner tongue), but it's several orders of magnitude more versatile. I actually wouldn't be shocked if Hell freezes over and Apple adopts this eventually... It's pretty much exactly what they've always wanted on Macbooks (one cable for power, data, and video, boom) and what they pushed for Intel to turn Thunderbolt into (too expensive, no power, and too controlled by Intel tho). Only reason they wouldn't jump in is lost revenue on mobile side, and the fact that it will be a while before Intel integrates this on their laptop chipsets. I don't even have a laptop and I'm kinda excited for Type C and it's alt modes like DP. It's the kind of interface multiple markets have needed for years and the spec body put a ton of forward looking thought into it. USB has been around for well over a decade, it has easily lived longer than most similar standards and even beat out a few that were technically superior in some ways (Firewire). This should keep it around for another decade, easily, and it stomps all over incumbents like Thunderbolt which will probably be relegated to niche status (high end storage) just like FireWire. USB OTG will be particularly fun once Type C is ubiquitous. Charging not just phones and small tablets but also laptops over USB will be super convenient. Large external hard drives won't require power bricks. The upsides go on and on... Our kids will laugh at proprietary power plugs and multiple video output plugs the way we scoff at the serial and parallel ports of old. That is unless they mess it up somehow, I don't wanna live in that world.
  • What are you talking about? I am running in the USB 2 limits all the time!
  • The reversibility is a significant improvement and there is a charging benefit. Right now if you plug a phone into an actual computer USB port you are limited to 500mA. With type C the computer can be capable of delivering up to 100W (probably 25W max @ 5V, still a lot). Also, right now there is no standard way for a USB wall charger to report how much current it is capable of delivering. Every manufacturer uses their own proprietary method (like shorting the data pins). Your phone might charge slowly from a wall charger from a different mfc even if that charger is capable of higher current because the charger did not give the correct proprietary handshake. Now with the power delivery spec there is a standard way for the power supply and device to negotiate an appropriate charging level. Truly universal charging adapters.
  • RE: Apple's Lightning connection/cable failing
    I'd rather replace a cable than have to bring my phone in for repair, or DIY, the micro USB port when the internal pinset breaks. But hey, maybe that's just me.
  • Then you will like Type-C. That is why it is designed the way it is. With lightning, the port in the device is more likely to fail. With type-C the cable is more likely to fail because the spring contacts are in the cable.
  • What? No more marking the "this side up" on cables so I can plug my phone in without looking? Absurd! Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • Its too bad they didn't arrive in time for this current batch of mobile phones.