Wednesday, February 8, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Ultra Accessory Connector

Jordan Kahn (MacRumors, iMore, ArsTechnica):

Apple is planning to adopt a new connector type for accessories for iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices through its official Made-for-iPhone (MFi) licensing program. Dubbed the “Ultra Accessory Connector” (UAC), Apple has recently launched a developer preview of the new connector type to prepare manufacturing partners for the component that in some cases will replace the use of Lightning and USB connectors, according to sources familiar with the program.

Measuring in at 2.05mm by 4.85mm at the tip, the 8-pin connector is slightly less thick than USB-C, and near half as wide as both USB-C and Lightning. The space-saving connector is similar in shape to ultra mini USB connectors on the market that are often bundled as proprietary cables with accessories such as Nikon cameras (like the one pictured below).

Vlad Savov (via Dan Frakes):

People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company has no intention to replace Lightning or install this as a new jack on iPhones or iPads. Instead, UAC will be used as an intermediary in headphone cables.

At present, a pair of Lightning headphones can’t be made cross-compatible with USB-C devices, and equally, USB-C headphones only work with USB-C audio sources. But if you insert UAC in the middle, you’ll be able to swap between Lightning-to-UAC and USB-C-to-UAC cables with the same pair of headphones, allowing you (admittedly with the help of a couple more dongles) to switch between the various connectors on the fly. UAC will make it possible for your headphones’ firmware to adjust on the fly, recognizing whether it’s receiving audio from a Lightning or USB-C connection and playing it back appropriately.

3 Comments

The Ars Technica líní explains what is actually going on.

Hmmm, why not just have a Lightening to USB-C adaptor and let the industry standardise on USB-C headphones? Seems daft adding UAC as a man-in-the-middle.

"UAC will make it possible for your headphones’ firmware to adjust on the fly, recognizing whether it’s receiving audio from a Lightning or USB-C connection and playing it back appropriately."

Surely that's the job of the dongle and not the job of the connector (UAC)?

> Hmmm, why not just have a Lightening to USB-C adaptor and let the
> industry standardise on USB-C headphones?

Can't have the competition have plain cables, while Apple needs a dongle! If Apple needs a dongle, everybody must have a dongle!

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment