Contrary to the tune, USB-C under the unification also hides “several sins”

The fast charging of domestic mobile phones is making a big leap every year. Last year, many models were still at the "one hour" level. This year's fastest product iQOO 5 Pro went straight to 15 minutes. I also have Vivo’s 44W, OPPO’s 65W, and Xiaomi’s 120W.

But if you do a mix and match "Lalang", for example, let the OPPO line charge Xiaomi, Xiaomi charge vivo, and vivo plug in OPPO. It can be plugged in, and it can be charged, but there is only a guaranteed speed, and the charging time is extended several times.

USB-C under unification is the chaos caused by different specifications and protocols.

USB-C makes wire specifications extremely confusing

I wrote before "Will Apple still replace the iPhone with USB-C?" "In the article, I mentioned that Apple has not redesigned the Lightning interface for many years, and after the establishment of the USB-C form, USB-IF has been updating the USB 3.0 protocol for several years, which makes the USB-C port It has a lot of protocol support and extremely complicated wire selection.

▲Complex USB-C. Picture from: Goal Zero

This is a "joke" from the Telegram channel:

Ten years ago, I walked into the store to buy data cables: Micro-USB, Mini-USB, USB-A, USB-C…… What are these

USB-IF: We want a unified interface, and many devices will use this interface in the future

Me: good

Mobile phone manufacturer: hAo yE!

I who bought the data cable:
USB-C (USB2.0), USB-C (USB3.0), USB-C (USB3.0 E-Marker), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 E-Marker), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 E-Marker), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 E-Marker), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 E-Marker), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2×2 E-Marker), USB-C (Raiden 3 E-Marker)

USB-C (USB2.0 PD2.0), USB-C (USB3.0 PD2.0), USB-C (USB3.0 E-Marker PD2.0), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 E-Marker PD2.0), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 E-Marker P2.0), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 E-Marker PD2.0), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 E-Marker PD2. 0), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2×2 E-Marker PD2.0), USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 E-Marker PD2.0)

USB-C (USB3.0 E-Marker PD3.0 3A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 3A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 E-Marker P3.0 3A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 3A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 E-Marker PD3.0 3A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2×2 E-Marker PD3.0 3A), USB-C (Raiden 3 E-Marker PD3.0 3A)

USB-C (USB3.0 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 3A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 3A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 E-Marker P3.0 PPS 3A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 3A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 3A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2×2 E -Marker PD3.0 PPS 3A), USB-C (Raiden 3 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 3A)

USB-C (USB3.0 E-Marker PD3.0 5A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 5A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 E-Marker P3.0 5A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 5A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 E-Marker PD3.0 5A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2×2 E-Marker PD3.0 5A), USB-C (Raiden 3 E-Marker PD3.0 5A)

USB-C (USB3.0 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 5A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 5A), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 E-Marker P3.0 PPS 5A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 5A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 5A), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2×2 E -Marker PD3.0 PPS 5A), USB-C (Raiden 3 E-Marker PD3.0 PPS 5A)

USB-C (USB2.0 SuperVOOC), USB-C (USB3.0 SuperVOOC), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen1 SuperVOOC), USB-C (USB3.1 Gen2 SuperVOOC), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 SuperVOOC), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 SuperVOOC)

USB-C (USB2.0 millet fast charge)

USB-C (USB2.0 vivo22.5W fast charge), USB-C (USB2.0 vivo44W ​​fast charge), USB-C (USB2.0 vivo120W fast charge)

USB-C (USB2.0 SCP), USB-C (USB3.0 SCP), USB-C (USB3.1 SCP), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen1 SCP), USB-C (USB3.2 Gen2 SCP) )


It looks a bit complicated and funny, but it is a real situation.

USB-C now has two problems. One comes from the USB-IF, the creator of the USB protocol standard, and the other comes from the over-popularity of the USB-C interface itself and the richness of supported protocols.

The first is that USB-IF has been messing around with the standard name of USB 3.0. For example, the USB 2.0 next-generation standard that was first launched on November 8, 2008 is called USB 3.0, with a peak rate (bandwidth) of 5Gbps, which is more than ten times the peak rate of 480Mbps in the USB 2.0 era.

Of course, how can the 5Gbps rate meet the USB-IF? After USB 3.0, USB 3.1 was officially launched on December 3, 2013, doubling the peak rate to 10Gbps. Then the USB-IF operation is to rename the original USB 3.0 that has been used for several years to USB 3.1 Gen1, and the newly introduced 10Gbps USB 3.1 to USB 3.1 Gen2.

▲ USB 3.0 rename tour. Picture from: Mashable India

The operation here is just the "beginning of chaos". In 2017, USB-IF launched the faster USB 3.2. After pushing the peak rate to 20Gbps, they repeated their behavior on USB 3.0/3.1. USB 3.1 Gen1 was renamed to USB 3.2 Gen1, USB 3.1 Gen2 was renamed to USB 3.2 Gen2, and the 20Gbps USB 3.2 was renamed to USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.

The introduction of the new standard and the two successive renames of the old standard have left many non-professional users confused about the USB 3.0 standard. Therefore, in most cases, users will still use USB 3.0 to refer to all of USB 3.X. As for the specifications, many digital bloggers feel a headache as to how they should actually be expressed.

▲ USB-C cable. Picture from: Android Authority

But the more troublesome problem is that the USB-C interface form supports too many protocols, especially when fast charging has become a function of mobile phones. PD protocol, PPS supplementary protocol, and even various private protocols like VOOC It is carried on the USB-C interface.

The prevalence of private agreements has made it extremely common for special cables and products to identify and reach a "handshake". If you want to use the ability of fast charging, you must use special power heads and special cables. In addition, these wires themselves are also equipped with or without E-maker chips, and can carry 3A, 5A or 6A current.

Of course, it cannot be said that mobile phone brands have not made efforts to reduce false purchases, such as strengthening the charging brand identity like VOOC, which is more targeted when consumers make purchases. The other is to use different colors as logos in the interface.

For example, the original 120W cable interface of Mi 10 Ultra is orange, while the 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 of OPPO Find X2 Pro is yellow.

In addition, sometimes it can be judged by the thickness of the wire. Generally, the wire that supports higher power needs to pass higher current, so the wire will be thicker. When you have different power charging heads and wires together, Use this method to quickly pair.

USB-C reduces the number of ports overall, users have to buy docking stations

One of the "crimes" of USB-C may also include the side effects of "Great Unification" itself. Because different protocols such as DP output, fast charging, high-speed transmission, etc. can all be implemented through the same USB-C, it seems that "the one who can do more" seems to have become a matter of course, while the overall number of interfaces has been decreasing.

▲New MacBook 12 has only one USB-C port. Picture from: Macworld UK

A typical case should be the New MacBook 12 launched by Apple in 2015. This MacBook is designed for extreme lightness and portability. It even uses a fanless design. The thickness of the whole machine is only 13.1mm, which is thinner than MacBook Air 24 % As much.

But the eager consumers immediately discovered a big problem-it only has a USB-C interface. This interface combines data transmission, wired network transfer and the most important charging function. Although it has multiple abilities, it will not affect the avatar, and can only do one thing at a time.

In fact, there are similar manifestations on mobile phone brands. For example, when the 3.5mm headphone jack was cut off, many brands have introduced wired headsets with USB-C interfaces. But the mobile phone has only one USB interface. In the absence of Bluetooth headsets and wireless charging, users can only choose between listening to music and charging through a USB-C port.

▲ USB HUB is indispensable to some products. Picture from: 9to5Mac

The fewer and fewer ports have also spawned a larger USB HUB market than ever before. These cut-off ports, such as RJ45 network cable ports, HDMI ports, SD card readers, and even more USB-C ports, are all in The endless USB HUB is back.

USB-C makes product protocol support extremely difficult to query

In the past, because the shapes of the various interfaces were not the same, as long as you saw the rendering of the notebook, you could know the approximate scalability of the interface, such as RJ45 interface, 3.5mm interface, HDMI interface and so on. In the later stages of the USB Type-A interface, colors were used to distinguish between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 interfaces. The USB 3.0 specification recommends using a part of blue for the USB 3.0 interface base to facilitate users to distinguish quickly.

But now there are only a few USB-C ports that look exactly the same.

As mentioned above, even if the USB-C port looks exactly the same on the same product, the actual functions carried by it may be completely different.

Take the latest product, the TNT GO wireless version as an example. There are two USB-C ports on the lower right side of the fuselage. They look exactly the same in form, but in actual use, they can only be done through the above ports. Wired connection to TNT cannot be mixed, and the Nut team also marked a small lightning-shaped icon on the lower USB-C port to indicate that this port is used for charging.

A similar phenomenon occurs in notebook products, and it mostly occurs in mid-range products that need to balance price and performance. For example, the 2018 Lenovo Xiaoxin my colleague is using, although it has a USB-C interface, it cannot be used for charging. Charging still requires a DC power port. In 2018, many high-power PD chargers have become popular, which greatly affects the travel of notebooks. Portability.

The power supply is a relatively obvious function. If it is a more concealed function, it may not be seen from the interface alone. For example, some USB-C ports do not have the DP video output function. A USB-C port, it is very likely that you need to carefully consult the technical support documents to figure out the support situation, which also gave birth to the "full-function USB-C port".

▲ Thunderbolt3 cable. Picture from: 9to5Mac

In addition, some USB-C also supports Intel’s Thunderbolt3 (Thunderbolt 3 interface, commonly known as Thunderbolt port) protocol standard, which can double the transmission bandwidth to 40Gbps on the basis of USB 3.2 2×2. In fact, the announced USB4 The standard is built on the basis of Thunderbolt3.

After the bandwidth reaches 40Gbps, not only can it be connected with more and higher-resolution displays, but also an external graphics card such as eGPU can be used to further improve the display performance, and the expansion capability is once again enhanced compared to USB 3.2. In terms of appearance, it is still an ordinary USB-C.

Do not ask for abandoning the private agreement, but ask for a clearer and clearer identification

First of all, from the conclusion, I am not opposed to USB-C's unified integration of complicated interfaces. Even though USB-C is chaotic, it still provides more powerful compatibility than before. From this point of view, it is very positive. But these "side effects" do exist, and manufacturers may need to promote better solutions.

For example, using different colors on the plug, such as using a small icon next to the USB-C port of the notebook to carry out more detailed standards, such as preparing a small lightning logo for Thunderbolt3, which has been effective to a certain extent, but it may also Need to be smarter and more obvious.

The twisted melon is not sweet. I hope that the pairing between the USB-C cable and the base will be clearer and clearer. The 65W SuperVOOC will not change to 15W PD. The video output shows the PPT and the black screen is displayed. The switch does not respond when connected to the monitor. .

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