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micro USB ports. And of course, each connector was oriented in a certain way so we found ourselves spinning thecable around to try to find the right orientation to actually fit the connector into the port.The USB standard faced competition as well, with the Thunderbolt technology appearing on Apple products.Thunderbolt supports fast transfer rates of 10 Gb/s, zooming past the limit of the USB 3.0, which is 4.8 Gb/s. How fastis that? Intel, the company that developed the technology, claims that Thunderbolt can transfer a full-length HD moviein under 30 seconds, or copy in just 10 minutes a library of music that would take a solid year to play through.FIGURE 6.24 USB-C brings a reversible, durable plug capable of charging with 100 W of power.(Crystal Eye Studio/Shutterstock)Intel used fiber optics—the transmission of digital data through pure glass cable as thin as human hair—to develop
2017-10-11, 1(06 PMTechnology in Action CompletePage 40 of 62blob:245Thunderbolt. And Thunderbolt supplies much more power to devices than the USB 3.0 standard allows. It also has avery slim connector design, allowing laptop designers to make their systems even thinner. And Thunderbolt can beused to connect displays!But now here comes the most recent release of the USB standard, USB 3.1. It addresses all of these issues. The USB3.1 speed limit matches the 10 Gb/s of Thunderbolt, making it twice as fast as USB 3.0. It also can transfer up to 100watts of power, compared to just 10 watts for USB 3.0. This means a USB 3.1 port could be used to replace even thepower charging port of a laptop. If the USB 3.1 standard is implemented using a USB-C connector, then we have thebest of all worlds. The USB-C connector, shown in Figure 6.24, is thin, small, and reversible, so the connector willslide into the port in either up or down orientation.What will this mean to laptop designers? Apple redesigned its popular MacBook laptop with a radical port layout: asingle USB 3.1 C port. The Google Pixel computer still has two of the familiar USB 3.0 ports, but it has added a USB3.1 C port to each side of the machine (see Figure 6.25). Look for a USB 3.1 C port on your next phone, camera, andlaptop!FIGURE 6.25 The Google Pixel computer has one USB-C port on each side but also includes twoUSB 3.0 jacks.(Jeff Chiu/AP Images)BITS&BYTESWall of MonitorsYou may have an old monitor and be working with two monitors side by side, or even a “video wall” of four or moremonitors. What if you want to play a video and spread it across all the monitors? The free program VLC will do thatfor you. Run VLC and load the video. Then select Tools->Effects and Filters->Video Effects->Vout/Overlay tab, andthen check Wall. Set the number of columns and rows, and your video will fill up your monitors!
2017-10-11, 1(06 PMTechnology in Action CompletePage 41 of 62blob: