What is USB? How it works with Different USB Connectors

What is USB?

All You need to know about Universal Serial Bus(USB)



USB(Universal Serial Bus), popularly referred as the USB, is used as a medium of communication for different devices. It is mainly used to connect different types of external tools to a computer. In short, it allows a computer to connect with peripheral and many other devices.

The connection covers a broad range including flash drives, music players, and mice. You can also use it to send power to a few devices such as the tablets and smartphones. You can also use it to charge their batteries.

The first commercial release of the USB was in January 1996. After the release, it was quickly adopted by many popular companies such as the Microsoft, Intel, and Compaq.

All that you should know about a USB

USB has been widely used. It became extremely successful soon after the release. A USB is used to connect multiple devices such as the mice, scanners, flash drives, printers, external hard drives, cameras, and joysticks. You can also use it in all types of the computers including laptops, tablets, desktops, and netbooks. Now with wireless routers too.

The usage of a USB is widespread. Now you will find a connection on almost every computer type that might be visual equipment, home audio, or video game consoles. You can also find one in many automobiles.

You can expect a port in the portable devices as well. Many portable devices such as the eBook readers, smartphones, and tablets use it for the charging. Now, you can find replacement electrical charging points in many stores that prove the wide usages of the USB.

You will find USB cables in multiple lengths to the maximum sixteen feet and five inches. The maximum length is made for the high-speed devices and minimum length for the low-speed devices. In fact, you can connect two USB cables if you want to extend the distance between two connected devices.

There will be different types of the USB cables to meet different transfer speeds. There will be also extension cables to extend the length of a cable by connecting to one end of the USB cable. But you need to avoid an extension beyond sixteen feet five inches unless you are using a USB hub.

Moreover, you will find millions of types of the USB devices that can you use to connect a computer also wireless . USB connectors and wireless network adapters are available in different sizes and shapes. You will find Standard, Mini, and Micro with almost every version. You can go through the followings to know more about the different versions.

Different versions of USB

There will be three major types of the USB standards. In addition, we will discuss the new addition 3.1.

  • USB 3.1: Though this is the new addition, still very popular for the speed. It is known as the Superspeed+. The compatible devices will be able to transfer the information at ten Gbps.
  • USB 3.0: This version is known as the SuperSpeed USB. The compatible hardware will be able to reach the transmission rate of five Gbps to the maximum.
  • USB 2.0: It is known as the High-Speed USB. It enables the compliant devices to reach the transfer rate of around 480 Mbps to the maximum.
  • USB 1.1: This version is popular as a Full Speed USB. The compliant devices will be able to reach 12 Mbps transmission rate to the maximum.

In the current condition, most of the USB cables and devices are using 2.0 version and 3.0 version.

Tip: All the parts such as the host, cable, devices, of any USB-connected system will be able to support different types of standards or versions with USB physical compatibility. More importantly, all the parts need to support the same standards to get maximum possible data rate.

More about USB Connectors

You will find many different types of USB connectors. The details of some popular connectors are the followings.

  • USB Type C: It is popularly referred as the USB-C. These receptacles and plugs come in rectangular shape. There will be four rounded corners. You will find USB-C for 3.1 version. But you can expect adapters for backward compatibility for 2.0 and 3.0 versions.
  • USB Type A: It is officially known as the USB Standard-A. These receptacles and plugs are available in the rectangular shape. These are widely used connectors. It can be used for the USB 1.1 version, USB 2.0 version, and USB 3.0 version. All these are compatible physically.
  • USB Type B: It is officially known as the USB Standard-B. These receptacles and plugs are available in the square shape. It is more visible on the USB 3.0 B Type Connectors. USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices are compatible with 3.0 type receptacles. But USB 3.0 devices are not just compatible with 1.1 and 2.0 type B receptacles.

You will also find a USB-powered connector of the 3.0 type. This receptacle is compatible with 1.1 and 2.0, 3.0 Standard-B plugs.

  • USB Micro-A: It will look like 2 different types of the rectangular plugs combined together. Both are of different sizes. One is little longer than other. These connectors are compatible only with the 3.0 Micro-AB receptacles.
  • USB2.0 Micro-A: These devices are very small. The shape of this connector is rectangular. It looks like an emaciated USB A Type plug. This connector is compatible with two types of the versions, 2.0 and 3.0 Micro-AB receptacles only.
  • USB Micro-B: The look will be similar to 3.0 Micro-A plugs. Both these look like two individual connected plugs. This device is compatible with 3.0 Micro-AB receptacles and 3.0 Micro-B receptacles.
  • USB 2.0 Micro-B: These are small in size and come in a rectangular shape. These devices are compatible physically with Micro-AB receptacles, 2.0 Micro-B, Micro-AB receptacles, and 3.0 Micro-B receptacles only.
  • USB Mini-A: The shape is rectangular and the size is small. But one side of this plug is more rounded. These mini devices are compatible with Mini-AB receptacles. You will not find any 3.0 Mini-A connector. There is no such product available.
  • USB Mini-B: This is a mini plug that comes in rectangular shape. Besides, there will be a tiny indention on both sides. It looks like an extended piece of a bread while looking at its head-on. These plugs are compatible physically with Mini-AB receptacles and 2.0 Mini-B. You will not find any 3.0 Mini-B Connector, like 3.0 Mini-A connector.

Note: You will not find Mini-A receptacles or USB Micro-A. There are only USB Mini-A plugs and Micro-A plugs. These plugs will fit in the AB receptacles.