Windows support for USB Type-C connectors
- December 2016
- USB 3.1 and USB Type-C specifications
- USB Power Delivery
- Billboard Devices specification
- UCSI Specification
- USB Type-C feature support in Windows
- FAQ: USB Type-C connector on a Windows system
- Troubleshoot messages in UI
Describes Windows support for USB Type-C connector and tasks for OEMs who are building USB Type-C systems, including how to write drivers that manage different features of the connector.
A traditional USB connection uses a cable with a USB A and USB B connector on each end. The USB A connector always plugs in to the host side and the USB B connector connects the function side, which is a device (phone) or peripheral (mouse, keyboard). By using those connectors, you can only connect a host to a function; never a host to another host or a function to another function. The host is the power source provider and the function consumes power from the host.
The traditional configuration limits some scenarios. For example, if a mobile device wants to connect to a peripheral, the device must act as the host and deliver power to the connected device.
The USB Type-C connector, introduced by the USB-IF, defined in the USB 3.1 specification, addresses those limitations. Windows 10 introduces native support for those features.
USB Type-C connector is reversible and symmetric.
Allows for faster charging up to 100W with Power Delivery over USB Type-C.
Single connector for both USB Hosts and USB Devices
Can switch USB roles to support a USB host or device.
Can switch power roles between sourcing and sinking power
Supports other protocols like DisplayPort and Thunderbolt over USB Type-C.
Introduces USB Billboard device class to provide error notifications for Alternate Modes.
The main component are: the USB Type-C connector and its port or PD controller that manages the CC pin logic for the connector. Such systems typically have a dual-role controller that can swap the USB role from host to function. It has Display-Out module that allows video signal to be transmitted over USB. Optionally it can support BC1.2 charger detection.
Consider recommendations for the design and development of USB components, including minimum hardware requirements, Windows Hardware Compatibility Program requirements, and other recommendations that build on those requirements.