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USB C to C Cable Types: A Closer Look at All Types and Features

USB's highest form types and characteristics

USB-C, also known as USB Type-C, is a versatile and widely adopted connector that has revolutionized the way we connect and transfer data between devices. However, it is important to note that not all USB-C cables are created equal. While USB-C represents the shape of the connector and the type of port, it does not guarantee the same type of protocol and transmission speed for all USB-C cables

USB-C cables come in various types, each designed to support different protocols and transmission speeds. It is crucial to have a brief understanding of these cable types to ensure compatibility and optimal performance for your devices.

In this blog post, we will explore the features and capabilities of USB-C to USB-C cables, including their different type c usb cable, specifications, and potential use cases. By understanding the intricacies of these cables, you can make informed decisions when purchasing and utilizing USB c cables for your devices.

Check out this Blog, to have a detailed look on Decoded USB C Wiring Diagrams and Color Code Analysis.

The realm of USB (Universal Serial Bus) cables is vast, varying in plug types and USB standards. Despite these differences, the fundamental purpose of most USB cables remains data communication.

Yet, the evolution of USB standards has ushered in remarkable advancements in speed. For instance, the latest USB4 version operates at speeds 10,000 times faster than the initial USB 1.0. To explore further, let’s delve into the various types and versions of USB C to USB C Cable Type available.

Usb-C To Usb-C Cable With Only Power Supply.

This specific type of USB-C cable serves the purpose of connecting an adapter to a device or linking a computer to various peripherals like lamps, toys, measuring tools, and more, particularly those that solely necessitate power without data transmission.
However, despite being primarily for power supply, it’s crucial to note that these PD USB C cables aren’t limited to VBUS (power) and Ground wires only. They include an essential CC wire, a defining component in USB-C technology responsible for establishing communication with the adapter’s charging protocol. Without the CC wire, the cable won’t effectively facilitate standard charging functions.
Read more about USB Charging Protocol in this blog.

Core Wires in the Cable:

The usb to usb c cable designed specifically for power supply typically comprises 3 core wires:

  1. VBUS Wire: This wire carries the power supply from the adapter or power source to the connected device, providing the necessary electrical energy.
  2. Ground Wire: Serving as the reference point for the electrical circuit, the Ground wire stabilizes the electrical potential and ensures a safe flow of current.
  3. CC Wire: The Critical Communication Channel wire plays a pivotal role in USB-C functionality. It’s responsible for communicating with the adapter’s charging protocol, negotiating power delivery, and enabling the cable to support efficient and safe charging operations for the connected devices.

USB C cable structure

Understanding the composition of these core wires in the USB-C to USB-C power cable emphasizes the importance of the CC wire beyond basic power supply, enabling the necessary communication for optimized and secure charging protocols between devices and adapters.

Standard Usb-C To Usb-C Cable.

A standard USB-C to USB-C cable is a ubiquitous and widely used charging and data transfer cable for numerous mobile devices. Often recognized as the original usb c charging cable accompanying mobile devices, it serves the dual function of facilitating usb c charger cable capabilities and supporting basic data transmission at a maximum rate of 480Mbps in accordance with the USB 2.0 standard. The kind of cable has 5 cores inside.

Features and Specifications:

This type of USB-C cable is designed to meet the requirements of everyday charging needs while enabling small-scale data transmission. Its key features include:

  • Charging Capability: At this stage, the standard USB C cable efficiently provides 20V/3A power transmission. This enables the charging of various compatible devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other USB-C enabled gadgets. When it comes to USB-C to USB-C cable charging standards, there are two main technologies to consider: Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC) and Power Delivery (PD). To Read more about different standards of Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC) and Power Delivery (PD) standards, Please check the corresponding blog.
  • Data Transmission: While primarily utilized for charging purposes, the cable also supports basic data transmission at a maximum speed of 480Mbps, adhering to the USB 2.0 standard. This functionality allows users to transfer small files, documents, or media between devices, albeit at moderate speeds.

Internal Core Components:

Internally, the standard USB-C to USB-C cable consists of 5 core wires, each serving a specific purpose in enabling its functionality:

  • VBUS Wire: This wire functions as the primary power supply conductor, transferring electrical energy from the power source (e.g., adapter or computer) to the connected device.
  • Ground Wire: Serving as the electrical reference point, the Ground wire ensures stable current flow and helps maintain a safe electrical environment within the circuit.
  • CC Wire: The Communication Channel wire plays a pivotal role in USB-C functionality, facilitating communication between the cable and connected devices to negotiate power delivery and ensure compatibility.
  • USB 2.0 Differential Signal Positive: This wire manages the positive differential signals in USB 2.0 data transmission, supporting the exchange of data between devices.
  • USB 2.0 Differential Signal Negative: Responsible for managing the negative differential signals in USB 2.0 data transmission, this wire complements the positive signal wire for effective data exchange.

Understanding the internal wiring structure and functionalities of the standard USB-C to USB-C cable highlights its versatility in managing both power supply and basic data transmission, catering to everyday charging and modest data transfer needs for modern USB-C devices.
USB-C cables are available in various transmission standards beyond USB 2.0, offering faster data transfer rates and enhanced functionalities. USB 3.1 and above standards signify improved speeds and capabilities in data transmission compared to the USB 2.0 standard. Keep reading to find more;

USB 3.0 USB-C to USB-C Cable.

The USB 3.0 USB-C to USB-C Cable represents a departure from the widely circulated USB 2.0 standard, which is currently the minimum standard prevailing in the market. While USB 3.0 stands as a standard established by the USB Association, it’s not mandatory for all cables in the market to meet this higher standard at this stage. The USB 2.0 standard has been the minimum in recent years since the elimination of the previous 1.0 standards.

Despite not conforming to the prevalent USB 2.0 standard, the USB 3.0 USB-C to USB-C Cable holds relevance due to its specific demand among particular clientele, notably in specialized hard drive products. Its uniqueness lies in its divergence from the more common USB 2.0 standard, showcasing differences in protocols and capabilities.
The cable’s utilization in specialized hard drive products suggests a niche demand within specific applications or user requirements. This bespoke demand for the USB 3.0 USB-C to USB-C Cable emphasizes its distinct utility within specialized contexts, catering to the specific needs of certain devices or systems that require capabilities beyond the prevailing USB 2.0 standard.

USB 3.1 Type-C to Type-C Full-Featured Cable.

Pin DesA1A2*A3*A4A5*A6A7A8A9A10*A11*A12
Pin DesB12B11*B10*B9B8B7B6B5*B4B3*B2*B1

High-quality USB-C cable complies with the USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard, boasting an impressive data transfer rate of up to 10Gbps. This speed is significantly faster (43 times) than that of USB 2.0 C-to-C cables, enabling rapid file transfers such as copying a 3GB movie within seconds. It supports 4K video/audio playback and maintains backward compatibility with USB 2.0 C-to-C cables. And, this kind of cable has 16 core wires inside, as follows:

USB 3.1 Type-C 16-core cable

This USB3.1 Gen 2 cable specifically uses a Type-C connector, eliminating other connectors like Type-A, Type-B, Micro, and Mini. Its compact PIN point on the connector PCB board necessitates manufacturing with advanced automatic welding machines, making it challenging for many cable factories to produce.

USB 3.2 USB-C to USB-C Cable.

The USB 3.2 USB-C to USB-C cable exemplifies the ongoing evolution of USB standards by delivering even faster data transfer speeds, achieving a remarkable 20Gbps rate. This rate is double that of its predecessor, the USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 2 cable, and USB 3.2 Gen 1, showcasing an impressive leap in data transmission capabilities.

While not extensively integrated into current products, USB 3.2 Gen 2 stands as a transitional standard between USB 3.1 and the groundbreaking USB4 technology, signifying the progressive trajectory of data transfer innovation. It has 16 core wires. The USB 3.2 USB-C to USB-C cable defines the future direction of USB technology. Compatible with PD3.0 and QC4.0 (20 V⋅5 A) protocols, it provides higher charging efficiency and fast data exchange functions for today’s high-performance electronic devices and systems. Its arrival marks an interim stage in USB development, setting the stage for the eventual widespread adoption of more advanced USB4 technology. Get in-depth information about the USB standard history.

Full featured USB 3.2 and 2.0 type-c cable wiring
Image Credit-Wikipedia

USB4 USB-C to USB-C Cable.

The USB4 USB-C to USB-C cable represents the cutting-edge in USB technology, introducing groundbreaking enhancements with unparalleled data transfer speeds reaching up to 80~120 Gdps. This innovation revolutionizes the realm of data transmission, providing lightning-fast connectivity for high-speed transfers between compatible devices. Also, USB4 utilizes a symmetrical USB Type-C shell housing 24 pins in total. Within this configuration, there are 12 A pins situated on the upper side and 12 B pins located on the lower side.

This cable represents the pinnacle of USB’s current state of development. Integrated PD 3.1 and QC 5.0 fast charging protocols and Thunderbolt 3 provide users with unparalleled efficiency in data-intensive tasks, HD media transfer and fast file copying. Powered by USB4 technology, the USB4 USB-C to USB-C Cable ensures users can use their devices to their full potential. Get an advanced technology experience with the new standard for fast data exchange. Mass production of USB4 cables by APPHONE signifies the transition towards this cutting-edge standard, hinting at its growing prominence in the tech market.
If you want to read more about USB4 , check our blog to find all the details about this advance technology.

Thunderbolt Usb-C To Usb-C Cable.

Thunderbolt USB C cable encompasses two primary versions: Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4, both leveraging the USB-C interface yet employing distinct data transmission protocols tailored for varied devices. While USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 are rooted in the Thunderbolt 3 protocol, Thunderbolt 4 embraces full compatibility with USB4. Despite their similar appearances with the USB-C interface, identification between the two is facilitated through visual cues. Thunderbolt 4 distinguishes itself with a lightning logo, while USB4 is identified by its speed logo.

USB VS thunderbolt

In comparison to Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4 maintains an identical physical appearance and offers the same maximum speed, retaining the USB-C interface design and maximum bandwidth of 40Gbps. However, Thunderbolt 4 has undergone optimizations in specific aspects, notably in bandwidth allocation.
Thunderbolt 4 elevates specifications, functionality, and compatibility, necessitating Intel’s certification and authorization, thereby incurring additional costs. Conversely, USB 4 presents a more versatile alternative without excessive requirements. Foreseeably, Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 will likely complement each other and coexist, each catering to unique user needs and preferences. It is also important to note that Thunderbolt 5 is already here to serve.

These USB-C to USB-C cable versions exhibit varying data transmission speeds, yet they share similar current and power capabilities. All variants can support a maximum of 5A and 100W. However, when the current exceeds 3A, USB-C connectors with an E-Mark chip are essential.

When choosing the right USB-C to USB-C cable type, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs and budget constraints. Each variant provides distinct features, transmission speeds, and compatibility, catering to a wide array of user requirements. At APPHONE, we stand at the forefront of USB Type C cable innovation, dedicated to providing cutting-edge solutions tailored to your connectivity needs. Our extensive range encompasses diverse specifications, protocols, functions, port injection molding options, color variations, length preferences, and more. This comprehensive suite ensures tailored solutions that perfectly align with your unique requirements.

Committed to the highest industry standards such as MFI, CE, FCC, RoHS, REACH, and ISO 9001, our factory-produced cables exemplify quality and reliability. Our diverse product line includes groundbreaking models such as Type C to Lightning cables, USB A to USB Type C cables, PD 3.0 USB C cable, PD 3.1 USB C cable, QC USB C cable, and boasting features like L-shaped and magnetic swivel ports, USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2, and USB 4 compatibility, supporting 60W/100W PD fast charging USB C cable and achieving a maximum data transfer rate of 40Gbps.

What sets us apart is our unwavering focus on customization. Our range of tailored production options encompasses materials (Nylon braid, TPE, PVC), varied lengths, port shapes, colors, packaging, and ODM/OEM branding. By choosing APPHONE as your USB C cable supplier, you embark on a journey defined by innovative, reliable, and personalized connectivity. Embrace the future with unparalleled quality and bespoke solutions, handcrafted to meet your unique requirements. Join us in connecting the world, one customized cable at a time.

However, not all USB-C cables are created equal. While they may all have the same connector, they have drastically different capabilities, including current/voltage ratings, eMarked or not, passive or active, and support for alternate modes like DisplayPort or Thunderbolt.

USB-C, or USB Type-C, is a connector (not a protocol) that supersedes previous USB connectors and can carry audio and/or video data, e.g. to drive multiple displays, or transfer data, e.g. to store a backup to an external drive, and providing/receiving power, such as to power a laptop or a mobile phone.

Yes, because of the unique 24-pin count of the Type-C connector. It is helpful for APPHONE to help customers develop cables with higher data transmission and charging efficiency.

Type-C ports support reverse insertion, so you can insert either end of the cable. Type-C ports can transmit data at a higher rate. 4K videos can be transmitted via a USB 3.1 Type-C port. Type-C ports support relatively larger charging currents ranging from 3 A to 5 A, and support reverse charging.

USB-C is undeniably the superior connection type due to its higher data transfer rates, ability to charge large electronics and symmetrical connection port. This is why it’s becoming the industry standard and will become ubiquitous in the near future. With that said, USB-A isn’t completely useless.

The charger will only provide the amount of power that the device needs, so using a higher wattage cable will not damage the device. In fact, it may actually help to improve the charging speeds.

The USB-C standard is a complex one, and not all cables, devices, and chargers support every feature. Some cables might just be designed for data transfer and not support fast charging; others might support fast charging but only up to a certain power limit. Data transmission and fast charging are two different technical protocols.

The USB-C connector, also known as Type-C, was developed by a group of companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Microsoft. The development of the USB-C connector was led by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), an industry group that promotes the adoption of USB technology.

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