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Forwards and backwards
compatibility with
USB-C and DisplayLink

​​​​​​What is USB-C?

USB-C is a new connector type. The connector itself can be used for other standards, for example VESA/DP alternate modes or Intel Thunderbolt 3. However not all USB-C connectors will support all standards, and some standards may require special USB-C cables to use the standard with the connector. This can cause USB-C connector confusion as it is not clear as to which standards the C connector supports, or which peripherals it can be used with.

Which USB-C connectors can DisplayLink-enabled products be used with?

DisplayLink provides a solution to the USB-C connector confusion. The USB-C connector standard mandates that no matter which standards the USB-C connector supports, USB will always be supported. As DisplayLink only requires USB signals to operate, DisplayLink enabled products will work with any USB Standard A or USB-C connector shown below:

USB Connector


How to enable universal docking with DisplayLink

As more products are enabled with USB-C connectors, it is possible to have a mix of USB Standard A and USB-C devices, which need to use the same DisplayLink enabled product.

USB Universality can be maintained by using simple USB cables to connect USB devices or convert between USB Standard A/B and USB-C connectors.

The table below summarises how to maintain universality with DisplayLink products as USB-C connectors become prevalent.

  DisplayLink enabled product connector type

USB 2.0/3.0 Standard B


USB 2.0/3.0 Standard A Host Computer

USB Standard A (male) to USB Standard B (male)

View Setup

USB Standard A (male) to USB-C (male)

View Setup

USB-C Host Computer

USB Standard C (male) to USB Standard A (female) to USB Standard A (male) to USB Standard B (male)

View Setup

USB-C (male)

View Setup

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