With the introduction of the USB Type-C connector, significant changes have occurred for system integrators, unfortunately not always for the better. Due to numerous developments and subsequent versions of the USB standard, there is considerable variability in the capacity of USB cables.
Unfortunately, it is often unclear about the precise capabilities of a cable. Even when specifications are provided by the manufacturer, there is a practical chance that the actual cable may deviate.
Currently, the only reliable method to determine the capabilities of a specific cable is to measure/test it using an advanced cable tester.
The advent of new versions of the USB standard, accompanied by an increase in data throughput, has also brought a side effect— a reduction in cable length. The officially allowed maximum length of a passive USB4 cable is now only 0.8m or 2.6 feet. This length is often insufficient, necessitating options for longer distances.
Manufacturers have devised two solutions, sharing the same core technology, namely glass. By utilizing optical fibers, it is possible to transport the same data over longer distances while complying with the standards applicable to passive (copper) cables. However, a significant drawback is the absence of voltage for devices that need to be powered/charged via the USB cable. To address this challenge, an active optical cable is required, where the core still consists of optical fibers for data transport, while the conductive shielding ensures power supply.
All these possibilities and associated choices make the landscape complex and challenging to navigate. To address this, we have started creating an overview of currently available, predominantly long-length cables. The technical nuances between different cables can be crucial for specific purposes. From experience, we can assert that the best cable is not always the most effective solution.
Our USB Comparison Chart allows for sorting and filtering as much as you need to find the cable that suits your specific requirements/situation. Let this be a serious starting point for your search, and if you happen to miss something, please let us know, along with any positive feedback.