Figure 1: The USB Type-C
connector alongside its
With USB 3.1, the latest iteration of the serial-data protocol, comes a new smaller and universal connector: USB Type-C, the USB-IF's answer to Apple's Lightning connector (Figure 1). Even Apple itself has adopted USB Type-C for its latest MacBooks, a rare show of support from Cupertino for an open standard. Like Lightning, USB Type-C is reversible, but it offers other interesting features, such as the ability to handle other protocols using "alternate modes." It also incorporates the new USB Power Delivery specification for improved power-supply capabilities over USB.