With Apple more than likely dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of Lightning for audio in the iPhone 7, Intel is now improving the USB-C spec to provide audio throughput. The company also suggests that Apple is making the wrong move using Lightning for audio.
Via CNET, Intel has announced it will be adding digital audio to the USB-C spec later this year.
At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel architects Brad Saunders and Rahman Ismail sketched out a coming USB audio standard that could help push the 3.5mm jack aside. The new specification, due this quarter, adds features to ensure a USB headphone doesn’t drain too much battery power and defines how buttons for pausing music or lowering volume work. The work “will really make USB Type-C the right connector for audio,” Saunders said.
The company is also adding a new video standard to USB-C, to incorporate HDMI. However, this video standard will not provide the frame rate required to play games. More notably, Intel will be adding device authentication to improve security in the latest USB-C spec.
While jumping on the USB-C bandwagon on the iPhone could resolve some issues, it’s unlikely that Apple will move away from Lightning. The iPhone maker has already gotten a ton of flack (and still does to this day), for moving from the 30-pin dock connector to Lightning.