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  • ishmoo21 - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    So if they can use type c to type c from the power adapter to device, what is the point of making the power adapters type a? Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    There isnt one. The Type A to type C cables are for backwards compatibility. The idea is to have the 'new' type C connector on everything eventually. Reply
  • SeeManRun - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Round connectors are always the easiest to plug in.. why not make it round for once. Reply
  • sgupt - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Round takes up more space than flat, simple as that. Reply
  • spikebike - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    So? There's a round earphone jack on most phones/tablets already. My 10 year old dumb phone had a round charger, why not today's phones? Name a single device today to thin for an audio jack. Reply
  • spikebike - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    Sigh, too thin. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    Audio jacks are okay for around 4 or 5 different signals, but it looks like they'll require more pins for this connector. A reversible flat connector is easy to plug in. Reply
  • wolrah - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    There are two reasons why not to use a round connector for USB or similar roles. First is power, a round connector makes it a lot harder to do hotplug safely, where the ground connects first and power can not inadvertently be shorted to other pins by partial or offset insertion. Live power also shouldn't be connected to exposed surfaces.

    The second reason is high-speed signaling is very picky about electrical connections and positioning. Note how ethernet doesn't just connect the four pairs in 12345678 order, but mixes them up. This is to keep the signal lines appropriately separated. A connector that works over its width is a lot easier to do this with than one that has to be inserted inline.

    A barrel plug like is usually used for power doesn't cut it for multiple signals and a stereo/headphone style jack has exposed conductors. Pretty much anything else isn't able to be inserted rotated, which would be the whole benefit of a round connector. Otherwise you end up with DIN-style connectors (think PS/2, ADB, and S-Video) which are just as bad as USB in terms of plugging in blind.
  • BillyONeal - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Round is even worse than the current design -- can't tell which way is up, and don't have only 2 orientations to try.

    I think the 6 conductor FireWire connector (with the rounded end but square on the other end) is probably the best thing ever here.
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Only problem - over time the connectors can become loose, making it possible to plug it in backwards.

    Which then puts high amperage power over the data lines.

    Which is a bad thing.

    (I'm sure you can guess how I know this.)
  • SlyNine - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    By carelessly forcing connectors in to each other :P Reply
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    You just defined what happens when you have kids attempting to plug in their devices. No thanks! The more bulletproof the better. Reply
  • flatrock - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Not enough space on a thin device for anything but a flat connector. Round is also only simple if you can have concentric contacts like a headphone jack. Otherwise orienting a circular connector is far worse than a flat one. A reversible flat connector does seem best. Reply
  • robl - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    I recently had to upgrade my nexus7 tablet, as the 2012 version uses the tiny usb port to charge, and it's fragile. Our kids kept tripping over it. Something bent inside and charging became very difficult. So ... I hope the new connector port builds some reliability into it to take abuse and keep working. Reply
  • SunLord - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Why were you charging where someone could trip over it? Reply
  • sweenish - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    Not just trip, but constantly trip. Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    Well of course there IS a solution to this --- make the thing magnetic like Apple did...

    I'm not sure why Lighting is not magnetic like MagSafe. I keep hoping it's because Apple didn't have time to iron the bugs out, and it's coming; but maybe it's basic physics --- maybe there simply isn't enough space to stick a magnet large enough to do the job in a phone, and prevent it from interfering with the speaker?
  • nemesis4670 - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    Nonsense...the reason is because Apple is cheap and desperately clings onto insane profit margins. The Sony Xperia Z1 smartphone has a magnetic charger port just like MagSafe. They even sell a cool magnetic charger dock so you just plop the phone in and it charges. But also a magnetic charging cable with USB on the other end. It's on the side of the device. But it also includes a MicroUSB slot for data transfer. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    Obligatory xkcd reference:
  • chekk - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    So the sequential speeds are fine, but hopefully speeds for smaller files is improved. Overall, eSATA still beats USB3 by a huge margin when transferring pictures, etc. Reply
  • SunLord - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    I can't think of a single way USB3.0 would ever be able to beat or even be on the same playing field as eSATA when it comes to data transfer given the massive difference in speed they offer Reply
  • SunLord - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    I get that USB3.0 is rated at a theoretical 5Gbps vs sata 6Gbps but that doesn't really mean much when it comes to how the specs are designed to work compared to each other when transferring files Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    The issue is not "theoretical" speed.
    The issue is that the speed you are talking about is a PHY speed --- the speed at which individual bits are clocked on the wire.
    (a) Nothing in the spec says this speed has to be sustained. Early HW is allowed to (did with USB 2, and likely does with USB3) have buffers that are large enough to send or receive a single packet at this speed, but without the overall throughput that allows this to be sustained for multiple successive packets,

    (b) The PHY rate is not the MAC rate. USB is a bus with possible multiple devices on it. There is some MAC protocol for deciding who gets control of the bus when. This protocol appears to be pretty inefficient (at least in the case of USB2) dropping about 25% of performance on the floor, and I would guess the USB3 MAC protocol is pretty much the same.

    (c) Most USB drives use the older USB MSC protocol for communicating with the drive, not the newer UAS protocol which is supposed to allow for higher performance (by allowing things like NCQ commands to travel over the wire). This doesn't necessarily speed up bulk transfers, but if UAS allows for larger packets than does MSC (I don't know if this is true) it would allow for higher speed.
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    I can think of a bunch. SuperSpeed USB and eSATA 6Gb/s have nominal data rates of 5 Gbit/s and 6 Gbit/s respectively, and both use 8b/10b encoding. Theoretically this gives eSATA 6Gb/s a 100 MB/s advantage, however, if the connected drive is the limiting factor because it can't exceed 440 MB/s (as is often the case) this advantage is irrelevant. If both ports are provided by discrete controllers that only have PCIe 2.0 x1 connections to the host (another common scenario), then eSATA's advantage once again disappears. In order to support 6Gb/s operation, the drive, enclosure (if you're using one) and port you're connecting to must all support 6Gb/s, otherwise the pendulum swings in favor of USB 3.0.

    Plugging a cheap USB 3.0 external that supports UASP into a SuperSpeed port provided by an Intel or AMD PCH/FCH is generally going to yield better performance than connecting a drive via eSATA to a port provided by a discrete controller, unless that controller has more than a PCIe 2.0 x1 back end, which would be a rarity on most motherboards. If the eSATA 6Gb/s port is provided by the chipset, it can put up a fight. However, UASP allows better use of the full-duplex channels provided by USB 3.0, and can actually reduce latency and protocol overhead compared to the still stuck on simplex SATA.
  • chekk - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    Despite what the theoretical numbers say, the actual behavior is quite different and why I'm currently unhappy with USB3 for file transfers. The only case where I have ever personally seen USB3 beat eSATA in writes was in large file transfers from an SSD. If every other case, even eSATA 3Gb/s was much faster. Particularly with small files where USB3 got slower until it leveled off at about 20 MB/s whereas eSATA was 60MB/s plus. I tried this with and without turbo mode in the BIOS.
    Until I can see fast USB performance, I'll hang onto my external eSATA docks.
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    I'm guessing you're either using a port supplied by a discrete USB 3.0 controller, not experiencing any UASP love, or both.

    Make sure whatever you are using for a SATA to USB 3.0 bridge supports UASP, plug directly into a USB 3.0 port provided by an Intel 7 or 8 series PCH or AMD A70M, A75 or A85X FCH with no intervening hubs and whatnot, and that you're running Windows 8/8.1.

    A decent SSD connected via USB 3.0 to an Intel Z77 system can push 200 MB/s of small random reads/writes, which is comparable to any discrete eSATA 6Gb/s solution even at high queue depths.

    Of course eSATA to SATA is still the only way to go for issuing an ATA secure erase command or updating firmware on most drives.
  • psychobriggsy - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    There's still USB3.1, which will be out in the same timeframe as this connector is implemented in actual devices you can buy (2015). Reply
  • iaco - Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - link

    That's what the USB Attached SCSI protocol is for. What I've read indicates UASP should close the gap between eSATA and USB. Unfortunately most USB 3 storage devices don't support it. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    Why do they always do this? They do it with HDMI. They do it with USB 2 and 3.

    Don't make a bajillion versions of the same standard. Make one cable and then stop. Oh, and making it reversible is always the right choice.
  • nightbringer57 - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    I don't think that the engineers who developed USB in the mid-90s, mainly for small computer periphals like mice, keyboards, or plug-it-and-forget-it things like printers, had ultra-thin smartphones in mind when they designed the connector ;)
    And I prefer different mechanical connectors with a single universal interface rather than different interfaces. And backwards compatibility is quite handful.

    And it is the same for HDMI. It was designed as a replacement for SCART/S-Video + audio connections. For TVs and stuff. It was not designed to be used with handheld device outputting full HD content, being constantly plugged on and off.

    Of course, a single universal small connector is more practical. But I can understand that when people thought this connectors 10 to 20 years ago, they did not imagine what we would do with them now ;)
  • xenol - Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - link

    It's good to know they're starting on all the right paths here. Reply

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