Intel revealed plans to create an upgraded USB Type-C connector to enable audio input and output at its Developers Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China. With the connector, the chip maker plans to replace the standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack that has long been used in electronic devices.
Intel to make headphone jacks obsolete
Intel believes that with USB Type-C, it will be able to simplify the connections of multi-channel audio equipment to various devices. AnandTech was the first to report Intel’s strategy. The chip maker is finalizing its USB Type-C Digital Audio technology and aims to release its specifications in the coming months, according to the website.
In addition to transmitting sound and data — for example, transferring health and fitness data from a mobile device — a USB Type-C interface will have the capability of charging a device as well, unlike the traditional 3.5 mm analog audio jack. Orientation will never become an issue when plugging something into a device since USB Type-C connectors are reversible.
The data throughput that the USB 3.1 Gen 1 specification offers is up to 5Gbps, while the Gen 2 specification offers up to 10Gbps. USB Type-C cables and connectors will replace the last analog receptacles on computers and mobile devices. These connectors will be capable of supporting both analog and digital musical content, according to the chip maker.
Users will get improved digital headset features as the upgraded connector would encourage a changeover from analog to digital. According to Intel, a USB Type-C connector that offers support to audio feeds would come with several benefits; for example, it will enable new form factors, improve user experience and provide a future path for USB technologies.
Apple has similar plans
Other news related to Intel doing away with the headphone jack is that Apple also reportedly plans to removing the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack in the next-generation iPhone and replace it with an all-in-one Lightning connector. There have also been reports that Apple could be considering making EarPods with Lightning cables to support the new audio output on future iOS devices.
Apple released Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) specs for manufacturers about two years ago to create headphones that attach to iOS devices with the help of a Lightning connector. LeEco is among those few companies that have switched to USB Type-C. Earlier this month, the Chinese smartphone maker introduced three new smartphones replacing the traditional audio jack with a USB Type-C port.