The USB-C connectors connect to both hosts and devices, replacing variousUSB-BandUSB-Aconnectors and cables with a standard meant to befuture-proof.The 24-pin double-sided connector is slightly larger than themicro-B connector, with a USB-C port measuring 8.4 millimetres (0.33 in) by 2.6 millimetres (0.10 in). The connector provides four power/ground pairs, twodifferential pairsfor non-SuperSpeed data (though only one pair is populated in a USB-C cable), four pairs for SuperSpeed data bus (only two pairs are used in USB 3.1 mode), two "sideband use" pins, VCONN+5 V power for active cables, and a configuration pin used for cable orientation detection and dedicatedbiphase mark code(BMC) configuration data channel.
Connecting an older device to a host with a USB-C receptacle requires a cable or adapter with a USB-A or USB-B plug or receptacle on one end and a USB-C plug on the other end. Legacy adapters with a USB-C receptacle are "not defined or allowed" by the specification because they can create "many invalid and potentially unsafe" cable combinations.
Devices may be hosts (DFP: Downstream-facing port) or peripherals (UFP: Upstream-facing port). Some, such asmobile phones, can take either role depending on what kind is detected on the other end. These types of ports are called Dual-Role-Data (DRD) ports, which was known asUSB On-The-Goin the previous specification.When two such devices are connected, the roles are randomly assigned but a swap can be commanded from either end, although there are optional path and role detection methods that would allow devices to select a preference for a specific role. Furthermore, dual-role devices that implementUSB Power Deliverymay independently and dynamically swap data and power roles using the Data Role Swap or Power Role Swap processes. This allows for a charge-through hub ordocking stationapplications where the USB-C device acts as a USB data host while acting as a power consumer rather than a source.
USB-C devices may optionally provide or consume bus power currents of 1.5 A and 3.0 A (at 5 V) in addition to baseline bus power provision; power sources can either advertise increased USB current through the configuration channel, or they can implement the full USB Power Delivery specification using both BMC-coded configuration line and legacyBFSK-coded VBUSline.
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