What is the difference between Apple C189 and C94 connectors?

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Let’s break it down and analyze it today

We all know the news that Apple has launched a brand new C189 connector to replace the traditional C89 connector. C89 is a USB-A to Lightning connector, and C189 is also a USB-A to Lightning connector.

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Apple’s current C94 is the current mainstream USB-C to Lightning connector. Among them, C189 is the low-end version of C89, which supports 12W power. It is also worth noting that C189 and C89 can be used alternately in the same product, which means that the original C89 PPID can use C189 without re-certification.

In addition, the C189 connector adopts the well-received ruthenium-rhodium plating on the C94 connector, which can effectively prevent the problem of blackening and oxidation of traditional gold-plated terminals and obtain a smoother charging experience.

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The picture shows the front of Apple’s C94 connector. Apple’s new C189 connector is basically the same as the C94 connector. The difference is that the encryption chip of the C94 connector is removed, and some devices are not delivered.

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On the back of the Apple C94 connector, you can see that there is an encryption chip under the glue.

Apple uses C94 connector materials and launches C189 connectors to replace the traditional C89 connectors. On the one hand, the coating is upgraded, which improves the user experience. On the other hand, the unified materials can effectively reduce the pressure on the supply chain.

For the Apple ecosystem, many old devices that do not support fast charging are still being used, and the market demand for USB-A to Lightning cables is still huge. And earphone products also use 5V charging, the traditional 5V / 1A can well meet the charging needs, the new C189 connector can solve the oxidation problem of the old data cable, which will trigger a wave of data cable upgrades.

Among them, Apple USB-C to Lightning data cable, from gold-plated C52 to ruthenium-rhodium-plated C91 to C94, from the past requiring multiple chips to only two chips, the integration is getting higher and higher, and the C189 connector is even more Only one chip can realize all the functions from USB-A to Lightning. Presumably, when Apple developed the C94 connector, it also considered backward compatibility.

Here we conducted an IC-level analysis of the new C189 connector.

The comparison this time is the new C189 connector and a third-party MFi certified C94 data cable. The C189 connector retains the large AS3616A chip on the front of the C94 and removes the encryption chip on the back, saving material costs.

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The picture shows the front of the C189 terminal head. It can be seen that the welding position of the capacitor and the resistance is different from that of the C94 connector.

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On the back of the C189 terminal, the encryption chip is not discharged.

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The picture shows the unpacking of the AS3616A chip of the C189 connector. The chip length is 3507.9μm, the width is 1499.5μm, and the chip size is 3.5*1.5mm, which is very small.about:blankImageUpload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL.UploadMedia LibraryInsert from URL

Third-party MFi certified C94 data cable terminal AS3616A chip unpacking diagram, the length is 3509.3μm, the width is 1500.8μm, the size and chip layout are the same.about:blankImageUpload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL.UploadMedia LibraryInsert from URL

Zoom /enlarge in 1000 times to view the chip printing information, the AS3616A chip in Apple’s new C189 data cable terminal, the silicon chip printing 50276480, and the B39 and B42 squares are filled.about:blankImageUpload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL.UploadMedia LibraryInsert from URL

Third-party MFi certified C94 data line terminal AS3616A chip, silicon wafer printing 50276480, B39, and B42 squares are filled, same as AS3616A in C189 terminal.

It was also found in the test that the C189 has an encryption function compared to the previous generation C89 connector. The C189 connector has the same handshake timing as the C89 connector but removes the encryption function, thereby reducing the cost of the connector.

Meanwhile, the C189 and C89 handshake timing is the same, but completely different from the handshake timing of the E75 connector.

Summarize

Through the chip-level analysis of the Apple C189 connector, it is found that most of the materials of the Apple C189 connector and C94 connector are the same, but the encryption chip is removed. The Apple C189 connector is the same as the C94 connector main chip, but it adopts a single-chip design, built-in handshake, PD fast charging function, and integrates PMU and MOS tube.

On the one hand, Apple’s move is to unify connector materials, which is convenient for the supply chain to stock up. Nowadays, USB PD fast charging has become the mainstream, and the shipment of C94 connectors from USB-C to Lightning is increasing. It is not cost-effective to reserve special materials for the USB-A interface. The mainstream C94 connector materials are used for simple modification and production. C189 connector can effectively control the cost.

In addition, the traditional gold-plated connectors are all upgraded to ruthenium-rhodium-plated alloys, which can effectively avoid the oxidation blackening and aging problem of traditional gold-plated contacts after long-term use, thereby improving the consumer experience. When C189 connectors are shipped in large quantities, it will also bring a new wave of MFi cable shipments.

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Helen Chen

Author: CO-Founder of GCC

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