Dating back to April of this year, the use of the new reversible USB Type-C cables with Apple products has been a common rumor, with images cropping up that showcased a reversible cable for Lightning cables intended for iPhones (which turned out to be fake). Now, more details of the new standard for USB have been surfaced.
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has just announced that the new reversible USB Type-C cables will also support a DisplayPort Alternate Mode, which has a wide range of use cases and overall improvements. Namely, with the new mode, it can “deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1) data and up to 100 watts of power–over a single cable.” Basically, as manufacturers adopt the new, thinner Type-C standard, they can also use it as a full DisplayPort cable as well.
“VESA utilized the Alternate Mode functional extension of the USB Type-C specification in the development of this new Standard. The DisplayPort Alt Mode repurposes some or all of the four existing SuperSpeed USB lanes to deliver full DisplayPort performance, and uses other signaling available in the USB Type-C connector for DisplayPorts AUX channel and HPD (Hot Plug Detection) function. This enables computers, tablets, smartphones, displays, and docking stations to implement the new USB Type-C connector at both ends while using the DisplayPort Standard over USB Type-C to transmit high-resolution A/V along with USB data and power.“
What this means for new machines that offer support for this type of cable is a reduction of ports. Specifically, with this new reversible USB Type-C, manufacturers could remove HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA ports altogether, leaving room for other options. The new cable can offer audio, USB data, video and even power.
This announcement potentially lines up quite well with a recent report that suggests Apple will use this new standard for a 12-inch MacBook that’s reportedly set to launch in early 2015.[via 9to5Mac]