USB-C, also known as USB Type-C, is the industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power. The USB-C connector was developed by the USB Implementers Forum, the group of companies that developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard. It counts more than 700 companies in its membership, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung. This is important, because it's part of the reason why USB-C has been so readily accepted by PC manufacturers.
The Type-C in USB Type-C refers to a specification for the connectors. In fact, there are a number of different specifications for USB connectors. For instance, the kind of USB connector that we were used to seeing in the past is formally known as USB Type-A, and the Micro-USB that we often see on Android phones is also another specification.
The most noticeable characteristic of the Type-C in terms of its appearance is its rotational symmetry. In other words, users no longer have to distinguish between which side of the connector is facing up because it can be plugged in either way.
Years ago, Apple introduced ThunderBolt, which boasts high transfer speeds and the ability to be connected to multiple devices simultaneously. While Thunderbolt 2 still used Mini DisplayPort as its interface, starting with Thunderbolt 3, both Apple and Intel have decided to phase out the outdated Mini DisplayPort and replaced it with the rotationally symmetrical USB Type-C.
Given that USB-C is now the default input in Apple’s latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, and an increasing number of Windows 10 machines are also converting to this port, the best USB-C monitors are becoming more and more popular among many professionals and creatives.
To further satisfy designers’ needs for efficiency and productivity, several transmission protocols have been introduced in recent years. Among them, Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C often create confusion among end users. So what are the differences between these two transmission cables?