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Intel shows Merged Reality Technologies at IDF 2016 (Page 3)

By Steven Bassiri from Aug 25, 2016 @ 18:03 CDT

USB Type-C Adoption


USB-IF, the organization responsible for the USB specification, isn't backing down when it comes to USB Type-C adoption. They predict widespread adoption, and we already see Type-C connectors on systems and phones, but clients aren't that widespread yet. The USB type-C connector does allow for many newer technologies such as advanced power delivery at 100W, ThunderBolt 3, DisplayPort, and of course the latest in USB technologies.

It is important to remember that USB type-C isn't synonymous with ThunderBolt 3. There are many varieties of USB type-C ports such as USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and ThunderBolt 3 all supporting different power delivery specifications.

USB Power Delivery 3


It seems like it was only yesterday when we were covering devices with USB power delivery 2.0 (USB PD 2.0), and USB PD 3.0 is already out. USB PD 3.0 is USB PD 2.0 with more communication, allowing better negotiation between devices to provide a higher level of safety when dealing with high wattage modes. There are many sub-standard USB cables and low-quality devices out there, and when you are dealing with 60 and 100W output, subpar quality could cause heat buildup leading to fires. The last thing the USB specification needs is a scandal that might stall adoption, and USB PD 3.0 is their solution.


USB PD 3.0 uses a new collision avoidance (CA) scheme which should be more robust than current timer based schemes. Collision avoidance is very common in networking, where CA schemes are used to prevent collisions before they occur rather than deal with what happens after. Message length has been extended, and it should support upcoming IEC PT 63002 power supply standards.

USB Display


While we use USB for almost everything, we don't use it for display connections. HDMI, DisplayPort, and even DVI are still very common display connections, and USB will be adding itself to that list soon. USB Display Class defines a new USB Display Adapter (UDA) for vendors that will support up to eight monitors per UDA. The technology will not only allow you to connect to your display through a USB hub, but will also work on both USB 2.0 and USB 3.1. Video, audio, and power will all be able to travel through a single cable. Imagine USB type-C (without ThunderBolt 3) for your monitor, perhaps even without the need for an extra power cable.

USB Audio


USB Audio 1.0 and 2.0 already exist, but USB Audio 3.0 is coming soon with type-C support. That means if your phone has a USB type-C port, you can also plug your headphones into the same port. The type-C USB Audio 3 will move more into the digital domain, which should reduce interference from cables but increase processing costs.


Baseline USB Audio 3 specifications will support mono/stereo at 24-bit/48kHz, will be backward compatible with USB Audio 1.0 and 2.0, provide jack control, and support more audio features. A single cable for everything mantra is looking better by the second as USB-IF pushes forward with their upcoming specifications.

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