USB-C color codes

The USB-C connector is gaining in popularity, but it is also increasingly difficult to figure out what a particular instance does. To solve this problem, I suggest a simple system: colour codes that indicate the nature of a particular port, in the highly improbable that a manufacturer ads some feature to an existing port, this can be fixed with some sticker.

Here are some proposed values, largely based on the PC System Design Guide.

Color Codes for USB-C connectors

Legacy USB /
Charging

USB 3.0

Power Delivery Specification

Display Port Alternate Mode

Thunderbolt Alternate Mode

HDMI Alternate Mode

Audio Accessory Mode

Maintenance /
Firmware update only

USB Attached SCSI

MIDI

Serial Port Emulation

Parallel Port Emulation

Mouse

Keyboard

The fact you cannot tell immediately which ones are serious and which ones are not is part of the problem…

USB-C pinout without text Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

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