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I am looking to use a USB-C 2.0 16 pin SMT connector on a PCB. I can't find any information on the manufacturers site on whether the through hole shield/shell stakes are connected to ground. Do these get connected to the ground plane or are they just for fastening purposes only?

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2 Answers 2

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According to (the latest official spec as of this writing) Universal Serial Bus Type-C Cable and Connector Specification release 2.3 3.2.1 .. emphasis in original:

  1. The receptacle shell shall be connected to the PCB ground plane.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the quick response, that helps out a lot. \$\endgroup\$
    – user375969
    Commented Jun 13 at 2:35
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The more electrical pathways between the plug shell and ground, the better. Both the plug and receptacle have internal EMC pads which are connected (bonded) internally to GND (power return), so if you don't bond the receptacle shell to ground it won't lead to failure -- in most applications. But it is a part of the spec, as depicted below.

USB-C Spec 2019 EMC Pad Connections

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your answer is OK. But the spec you referenced leaves a lot to be desired. For example, what does "sufficient connection points" mean? And "apertures as small as possible" mean? This is bad specmanship. \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jun 12 at 14:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveSh That's because that diagram comes from the "Implementation Notes and Design Guides" section of the document. There are 132 preceding pages where they get very specific. About eeeeeeverything. \$\endgroup\$
    – FeRD
    Commented Jun 12 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FeRD - Thanks for that clarification. I should have known that something as well spec'd as USB would have something better than those wishy-washy statements. \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jun 13 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the quick response, that helps out a lot. \$\endgroup\$
    – user375969
    Commented Jun 13 at 2:36

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