Intel, USB-C, 3.5 mm jack
Intel claims that improving the USB-C port is the next logical step. Image credit: The Country Caller.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) explained how improvements on the standard USB-C port could become the solution for thin smartphones at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The objective is to replace the classic 3.5 mm audio jack for good.

The upgraded USB Type-C will arrive late 2016 with a slimmer design to save precious millimeters from the smartphone’s body.

According to the rumors, Apple is ditching the 3.5 mm jack with its new series of iPhones. That fact started an online debate dubbed “USB-C port vs lightning connectors.”

There are many other companies that like Apple want to get rid of the 3.5 mm connector on their devices. For instance, the new Moto Z comes with USB-C and offers wireless and Bluetooth options for music. Others, like HTC, now require an ExtUSB hanging over the smartphone and custom headphones to press play.

USB-C ports would make the smartphones smarter

The classic plug has been around for a really long time, and people might have problems with a sudden change. However, Intel explained there are a lot of advantages on moving on with this technology.

For example, the company said the USB-C port could detect when a person is using it, whether listening to music or chatting. If there is no activity, the phone will stop sending power to the port making the battery last a little longer.

Also, and staying in the same thread of thought, Intel explained the new ports could charge faster than the average options in the market. These two perks can make the difference because short-lived batteries are among the top complaints from costumers.

The port also eliminates the need for analog circuit outing and the digital audio can be customized to take advantage of advanced features in cheap headphones, such as bass boost and noise canceling.

The architect also pointed that a USB-C is capable of high-throughput data transfers, which means it can connect the smartphone to a computer to display apps and run movies. Plus, the port can handle multiple connections at the same time, and will eventually become a port that handles all kinds of devices.

Intel would have to come up with a way to sort the technological and practical barriers 

3.5 mm audio jacks have always been the market standard, but they are becoming the enemy of each 1mm thinner smartphone.

The tech is accessible to all kinds of devices and, similarly, all sorts of devices are designed around it, from car stereos to home theaters. A change would cost, say, $29 for every iPhone user for a custom headphone or an adapter.

It would also mean Android and iPhone headphones would become incompatible with each other, as well as auxiliary ports. Bluetooth and wireless connections eat up the battery. The quality sound output is not diminishing at all, most of all because it allows connecting all kinds of headphones to it from renown sound-system companies.

Lastly, The trade of the headphone jack for USB controllers would mean an inherent increase in the hunger for energy and thus, faster depletion of the battery.  That said, companies should maybe focus on battery life.

Source: Engadget