What is USB?
In computer science, the terms USB (initials of Universal Serial Bus, that is to say, Universal Serial Bus ) or BUS refer to a standard of connection and electrical and data transmission, between computers, peripheral devices, and other electronic devices.
This system consists of a communication bus guided by protocols, cables, and universal serial connectors, which emerged as a way to universalize the connection of the devices to the different models of computers.
It should be clarified that a bus, in computational architecture, refers to a digital data transmission system between computers and their components, manufactured on a printed circuit with resistors and capacitors, and commonly used in today’s computing.
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USB emerged in its version 1.0 in 1996, as an initiative of Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Compaq, DEC, NEC, and Nortel, then incompatible with each other, to standardize the connection ports of their products.
Two years later, the 1.1 specification was already in massive use. Since then, its use has become the norm, replacing connectors such as the serial port, parallel port, and game port.
Currently, most peripherals use USB connectors: pointers, flash drives, keyboards, joysticks, scanners, cameras, speakers, cell phones, etc.
This offers a host of benefits, beyond extreme compatibility: peripherals can be connected at any time and instantly recognized, allow joint transmission of data and electricity, and allow transmission speeds of up to 1250 Mbps (as standard valid).
What is USB for?
In principle, USB plays an important role in today’s serving as a universal connection method, thus eliminating the need for adapter devices, serving the types of peripheral connectors, and even allowing rapid transit of the information between different types of electronic systems.
Also, USB allows you to charge the battery of electronic devices, connecting them to a computer, whether or not it is, in turn, connected to a power line.
The USB standard is called the type of connector intended for these functions, which has evolved, increasing its capabilities and adapting to the needs of new computer hardware. The standards to date are:
- Standard 1.0. The initial low-speed model, which failed to catch on in the year of its launch. In its full version (1.1), it offers a transfer rate of up to 1.5 Mbps.
- Standard 2.0. Called high-speed, they increased the transfer rate to 480 Mbps, using two pairs of wired lines: two for electricity and two for data.
- Standard 3.0. Considered super high speed, it can reach 600 Mbps, since it includes five additional contacts, discarding the traditional optical fiber, although it will be compatible with previous standards. Its most updated version (3.2) was announced in July 2017 and is expected to reach much higher speeds in 2019.
Within the same USB standard, various types and sizes of connectors are considered, that is, cable terminations. Some of its characteristics, however, vary, to vary the polarity, and avoid electrical overloads.
- Type A: The most frequent arrangement, present in removable memory units (flash), is usually medium-sized, flat, and frequent in hubs and many peripherals.
- Large devices like printers or scanners usually use type B. Square and elongated.
- Mini-USB. Often used in digital cameras and other devices, it almost always consists of a Type B connector.
- Micro-USB. Present in most smartphones, in its 1.1 / 2.0 and 3.0 variants, it is the smallest version that exists.