What is USB?
A USB is a common computer port, which shorts for Universal Serial Bus and allows communication between a computer and peripheral or other devices. It is the most common interface used in today's computers, which can be used to connect printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, game controllers, digital cameras, external hard drives and flash drives. The USB has replaced a wide range of interfaces like the parallel and serial port because it is used for a wide variety of uses as well as offers better support for electrical power. With a single USB port, up to 127 peripherals can be connected with the help of a few USB hubs, although that will need quite a bit of dexterity.
A USB is intended to allow hot-swapping and enhance plug-and-play. Without having to restart the computer, plug-and-play makes it capable of operating the system to involuntarily discover and configure, and hot-swapping allows replacement and removal of a new peripheral device. In the devices like smartphones and tablets, a USB may also use for supplying power as well as charge their batteries. Its first version 1.0, was introduced in January 1996. Then, Intel Compaq, Microsoft, and other companies adopted this industry-standard quickly.
There are many types of USB connectors, but type A and type B are one of two major types. Type A is USB 2.0, which contains a flat rectangle interface. And, to supply power and transmit data, it is inserted into a USB or hub host. The input device, keyboard and mouse are a well-known example of type A USB connectors. A type B USB uses a removable cable like a printer and is connected to an upstream port. Some type B connectors are unable to offer data connection, and they are only capable of using as a power connection.
Ajay Bhatt, a computer architect co-invented and established the USB, and he had been working for Intel. Seven companies, NEC Corporation, Nortel, Intel, Compaq, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), IBM and Microsoft, began to develop the USB in 1994. The main objective of these companies was to eliminate a large number of connectors and make it easier to connect peripheral devices to a computer. It involved factors, which are
USBIF is a USB Implementers Forum that standardized the USB design. It includes a wide number of companies promoting and supporting the USB. The USBIF is not only about the USB design but also upholds the compliance program and maintains the specifications. With the 2.0 version, specifications were created for the USB in 2005. In 2001, USBIF introduced the standards in which the earlier versions 0.9, 1.0 and 1.1 were included that are backward compatible. Generally, it is designed for hot swapping, higher quality cabling, easy installation and faster transfer rates. The bulkier, parallel and serial port conclusively have been replaced by USB.
Hot swapping is one of the best benefits of USB, which allows a device to be removed from the system without the need of rebooting the system. Because older ports needed that a PC be reboot while adding or removing a new device with them. By rebooting the system, the device will be reconfigured and can prevent electrostatic discharge. Sensitive electronic equipment like integrated circuits can be seriously damaged through an unwanted electrical current. Despite a hardware failure, hot-swapping has the ability to continuously operate because it is fault-tolerant. However, there are some devices, such as a camera, that need care when hot-swapping these devices. Because the port, camera or other devices can be damaged if a single pin is accidently shorted.
USB version 1 offers two types of speed that work best for slow I/O devices: the speeds are 1.5 Mb per second and 12 Mb per second. With slower USB devices, USB version 2 is backward compatible and offers up to 480 Mb/s.
List of USB devices
In modern times, to connect with the computer, there are many different USB devices. Some common are as follows:
Where are the USB ports?
In modern times, all computers contain at least one USB port in different locations. Below, a list is given that contains USB port locations on the devices that may help you out to find them.
Laptop computer: A laptop computer may contain one to four ports on the left or right side, and some laptops have on the behind of the laptop computer.
Desktop computer: Usually, a desktop computer has 2 to 4 USB ports in the front and 2 to 8 ports on the backside.
Tablet computer: On the tablet, a USB connection is situated in the charging port and is sometimes USB-C and usually micro USB.
Smartphone: In the form of micro USB or USB-C, a USB port is used for both data transfer and charging, similar to tablets on smartphones.
USB connector types
There are different shapes and sizes available for the USB connector. Also, there are numerous versions of USB connectors, such as Mini USB, Micro USB, etc.
USB transfer speeds
USB version compatibility
Every version of the USB port can support any version of USB (Universal Serial Bus), as it has the ability to compatible with both backward and forward. For example, devices are able to work in a 3.0 designing with USB 1.1 and 2.0 technology. Even though USB 3.0 is capable of higher speed, devices with lower versions run at their native transfer speed. Therefore, if a USB 3.1 device is connected with a USB 2.0 port, its max transfer rate is limited to that of the 2.0 port.
History of USB