How to Know Which USB is the Right Choice for Your Design

A, B, C, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, mini, micro – how do you know which is the best? Which should you use? Würth Elektronik is here to help you answer that question! Let’s start with a breakdown of which types of USB are available to you:

  • USB 2.0

USB 2.0 has 4 interfaces: Type-A, Type-B, Mini and Micro. USB 2.0 has a data rate of 480Mbps and a power range of up to 500mA/5V.

  • USB 3.0

USB 3.0 has 3 interfaces: Type-A, Type-B and Micro. The 3.0 generation has a data rate of 5,000 Mbps and power range of up to 900mA/5V.

  • USB 3.1

Then, we have USB 3.1. USB 3.1 also have 4 interfaces: Type-A, Type-B, Micro and Type C.


Now you might be asking yourself, what is the difference with all of these interfaces? What makes each one unique?

The interfaces are best described with the analogy of a walkie-talkie vs. a telephone. Type-A connectors give the information, while Type-B are made to receive the information. You can think of these a walkie-talkie. Only one can speak at a time.

The mini, micro and C have the addition of a 5th pin that makes them act more like a telephone. This pin identifies who is talking and can help the information to go both directions.

The USB Type-C interface has 24 pins. These additional 20 pins help it to move more data at greater speeds.

“More information and speed is going to raise my EMI!”

If you know a little bit about EMI this might send up a red flag. Well, the Type-C interface has built in grounding plates to help keep the noise at bay and lower your EMI, making it a very efficient connector for its size.

Type C - The Future

So, what does the future hold for USB 3.1 Type-C? How do you know if this is the right connector for you? Well, if you need to move power, high-speed data, or audio/video then this is the connector for you.

Type-C is really the universal I/O connector. Type-C can be used to charge and connect accessories to your laptop but also has applications for mobile devices, tablets and televisions. The possibilities are almost endless.

Type C - The Solution

Are you ready to try USB 3.1 Type-C for yourself? Würth Elektronik can help - in more than one way. We stock USB 3.1 Type-C connectors in our warehouses. If you would like a sample or two, visit our website. Samples are free!

We also have a new Type-C Development Kit with STMicroelectronics. This kit is a robust solution with embedded protection against short-circuit, overvoltage, overcurrent and electromagnetic interfaces. It is a complete and ready-to-use solution with evaluation boards and a demonstration board for sink and source applications from 0.5W up to 100W. You can read more about the kit on our website and request a quote if you are interested in purchasing one as well.

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