Type-C Cables and Connectors

USB Type-C® calls for a cable with 24 signals:

Type-C Signals

Pin Number Signal Name Description
A1, B1, A12, B12 GND Ground
A4, B4, A9, B9 VBUS Power Upstream Facing Port (UFP)
A5 CC Used in Power Delivery Protocol signalling
B5 VCONN Supplies Power to Electronically Marked Cables
A6 D+ USB 2.0 legacy signal, also used by USB 3.x
A7 D- USB 2.0 legacy signal, also used by USB 3.x
A2, A3 SSTX1+ / SSTX1- Differential Transmit Signal 1 for USB 3.x
B11, B10 SSRX1+ / SSRX1- Differential Transmit Signal 1 for USB 3.x
B2, B3 SSTX2+ / SSTX2- Differential Transmit Signal 1 for USB 3.x
A11, A10 SSRX2+ / SSRX2- Differential Transmit Signal 1 for USB 3.x
A8 SBU1 Used in Alternate mode only
A8 SBU2 Used in Alternate mode only

There are three types of USB Type-C cables. Depending on the type of cable used, not all signals are required.

Passive Type-C cable

Passive cables are required to carry the USB 2.0 compliant signals: CC and VCONN. SuperSpeed and SuperSpeed Plus protocols cannot be run on passive cables. Passive cables do not work with the Power Delivery Protocol but can allow the Downstream Facing Port (DFP) to advertise and deliver additional power for the current mode operation (see the USB Power Delivery page for more details on power delivery options of USB).


Electronically Marked Powered Cable (EMCA)

EMCAs carry all Type-C signals and are capable of running all USB 3.1 speeds. Inside of these cables is an integrated circuit used to process the Power Delivery communication protocols. The electronic marking allows for role switching, Alternate mode selection, and enhanced power options. Details of how these three items are implemented are provided on the Power Delivery Protocol page.

The embedded electronics are powered by VCONN. Type-C requires both CC1 and CC2 to be capable of performing both the VCONN and CC functions.


Managed Active Power Cables

Managed Active Power Cables have the same basic circuitry as electronically marked cables, but have additional signal reconditioning capability. Managed Active Power Cables are needed to extend the cable length.

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