Would you like USB C devices ?

Would you like USB C devices ?

For as long as we've been selling USB peripherals, we've taken great care to keep connectivity consistent across all our products, and to preserve module features when we need to make a new version. 13 years ago, the USB micro-B connector was just starting to make its mark, so we adopted it right from the start. Today, however, it's starting to be replaced by USB type-C, and we have to ask ourselves whether or when our products should migrate to USB C for their connectors. Give us your input !

Advantages and disadvantages

There are several advantages to the USB type-C connector:

  • the female connector (socket) on the module is more resistant to tearing
  • USB C plugs are reversible
  • USB C cables are now more widespread than micro-B cables

But there are also disadvantages: migrating our products to USB type-C connectors is not a trivial process, either for us or for our customers.

For us, it means

  • designing a USB C version for each product: even if the change is minimal, the USB type-C connector is somewhat bigger and requires the addition of two resistors, which means moving several components, in an area of the PCB that's already quite full
  • being able to produce and sell micro-B and USB type-C versions in parallel for some time, depending on customer needs
  • duplicating product references, stocks of bare PCBs, solder paste stencils, and stocks of finished products
  • therefore having significant additional stocks, in terms of cost and space

For our customers, this potentially means

  • formally validating their solution with the new product version
  • modifying the part numbers of products and associated cables in their BOMs
  • in some cases, re-testing the entire system for EMI, as changing the USB cable may affect emissions
  • absorbing the additional costs associated with USB C

The additional costs associated with USB type-C are of several kinds. Firstly, the USB C cables and connectors themselves are more complex and therefore more expensive than their micro-B equivalents. Secondly, as the selling price of all our new products is calculated on the basis of the actual production price, it will automatically incorporate the slight inflation of recent years, which we have so far avoided passing on to our prices. We will try to limit the extra cost to a few percent, but the USB C version may well be a little more expensive than the original micro-B version.

Migration strategies

The simplest solution for us would naturally be to create the new products in USB C, and replace the old micro-B products with USB type-C versions as stocks deplete. But you'd have to be a bit of an idiot to do that, because for our customers, it would lead to a fragmented and unstable ecosystem, making it impossible to plan migration.

The most comfortable solution for customers would be for us to offer all products in duplicate, in micro-B and type-C versions. Unfortunately, this would entail such high transitional costs that we'd have to pass them on to customers in selling prices, which we'd like to avoid as far as possible.

So we're going to be more selective. To give customers the choice of when to make the transition, we're going to offer the same products for sale in both micro-B and type-C versions. But to keep costs and stocks reasonable, we will initially limit this offer to those products for which it is relevant, according to your needs, and evolve the offer gradually.

We look forward to your feedback. If you've already bought Yoctopuce products and intend to buy again in the future, please tell us which products you'd like to get in USB C, and/or which ones you'd like to keep in micro-B. We'll keep this information in our database, and you can update it at any time as your needs evolve. On our side, we'll use this information to prioritize which products to produce in USB type-C, and when to abandon the micro-B version.

To give us your input: click here!

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