The time is almost up for the USB jack — called USB type A — that we’ve been using for over 2o years, as Intel has paved the way for the new USB-C standard to take over.
On Wednesday, Intel said it would make its Thunderbolt 3 technology royalty-free, which gives any device manufacturer much better incentive to use the technology. It said that would take effect “next year.”
Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology uses the USB type C, or USB-C, standard to plug devices into computers and other peripherals.
Here’s what that means for you:
It’ll change the way we connect our devices.
Your external hard drives, keyboards, mice, printers, and pretty much any peripheral that has been using the standard, common USB type A standard to connect to your computer could soon ship with a USB-C cable instead of a USB type A cable.
If you put a USB-C and a USB type A cable side by side, you’d notice the USB-C cable is significantly smaller. It’s almost as small and slim as Apple’s Lightning jack, used for charging iPhones.
It’s great news.
Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology and the USB-C standard offers several benefits over USB type A. For one, it means much faster transfers between computers and external hard drives. The latest version of USB 3.1, which uses type A, transfers data at 10 gigabits per second, while Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C can transfer data at 40 Gbps. Essentially, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C is…