Answering: What’s Universal Series Bus And How It Works

Universal Series Bus, which is mainly known as USB to all of us, is a way through which communication between two devices can be established.

Devices such as printers, cameras, music player, scanners etc. can be connected to the computer;

USB has a wide range of uses and one of them is support for electrical power which is used to charge batteries and power smartphones.

A USB has been designed for hot swapping and boost plug and play. With hot swapping, you can remove and replace it with new contents without any reboot.

There are seven companies who worked on USB together in 1994 include – Microsoft, Compaq, Nortel, DEC, Intel, NEC and IBM.

And you know, Ajay Bhatt, a computer architect along with a team have been credited with the creation of USB.

Although there have been pre-releases, the first USB 1.0 was released in January, 1996 that had low speed 1.5Mbits (0.1875MB) and many manufacturers of computers started adding USB support in their machines but it was only in 1998 that when iMac released that made USB became popular.

#Let’s Look On To The Various Versions Of USB

Released in January 1996, USB 1.0 was the first of its kind, however since there were some problems in this version soon a better version of USB which is the USB 1.1 was released. The USB 1.1 can run on Low-Bandwidth at 1.5 Mbps or Full Bandwidth at 12 Mbps.

The next is the USB 2.0 which is also known as Hi-Speed USB, it supports data rates to 480 Mbps. This version uses the same connectors and cables as USB 1.1.  The USB 2.0 which was released in April of 2000 was created specially to meet the demands of bandwidth of the highly developed technologies.

The USB 2.0 is quite popular and most laptops and computers have at least two or more USB 2.0 ports.

In 2009, came the USB 3.0 version that supports data transfer rates to 5 Gigabytes per second and more. Additionally USB 3.0 has been developed for low power and enhanced protocol productivity. The upgrade to the USB 3.0 is the 3.1 version which is referred to as the Super Speed USB that offers maximum speed in data transfer which is 10 Gigabytes per second and was first released in 2013.

It is the Generation 2 version of USB 3.1 which offers the mentioned speed of 10 Gigabytes per second. The Generation 1 of 3.1 version had the same speed of 5 Gigabytes per second. Devices which supported Generation 2 were released only in 2015 with Apple’s MacBook.

The USB 3.1 ports and cables power and charge devices at a speed of 20 volts at 5 amps for a total of 100 watts of power.

#What About Different Types Of USB Ports?

There are majorly four types of USB ports which exist:

USB Type A: These types of devices are rectangle shaped and are usually meant for wired keyboards and mouse.

USB Type B: The connector in USB Type B is usually square in shape and about 1.4 cm in length and 0.65 cm in height. This type of port is quite popular and is found on computers, gaming consoles, routers and printers. Most USB sticks also have this type of USB Type B connectors.

*It should be noted that USB Type A and USB Type C are same electrically, the difference is only in their mechanical structure. This was done intentionally to avoid connecting one host with another host – something which would lead to short circuit.

Mini USB: This USB type was introduced in the market before the micro USB type and this is a standard type for all mobile devices. Mini USB is smaller in size than regular USB and still it can be used in some cameras that come with non-standard connectors.

Micro USB: Micro USB versions of USB Type A and USB Type B are present in smaller versions which are usually seen in mobiles. Some old devices have mini USB.

USB Type C: This is the most recent one and features a very small connector. This port type is gaining popularity and has been developed to match the standards of emerging technology. USB Type C is now being included in latest devices – smartphones, laptops and tabs.

Lightning: This is Apple’s proprietary connector for their products like iPhones and iPads. Apple products that are made after September 2012, are compatible with this USB type. Older Apple devices use a larger proprietary connector.

So, How To Use A USB Port?

You can connect two devices using a USB cable by plugging one end of the cable into the port of one device and the other end of the port to the other. Most devices such as laptops feature two or more USB ports but ensure that both ends of the cable should not be plugged into the same device else your device could be damaged.Once done you can transfer files or also use it to power your device.

A USB Hub is meant for connecting multiple USB devices. A USB hub is something which plugs into one USB port and comprises of more ports so additional devices can be connected simultaneously. A separate cable should be connected to every device and then connected to the hub individually.

The USB flash drives which are storage devices can be plugged in directly into the computer or laptop. Flash drives are easy to carry and usually meant for storing and transferring files, images, videos etc. USB ports are also made available in cars where these flash drives can be inserted, so you can listen to music.

Speakers, printers, digital cameras, smartphones, storage devices, network connections, webcams, joysticks, modems, scanners etc. are some of the examples of USB devices.

USB’s support hot plugging and plug-and-play installation so your computer automatically recognizes the device as it is plugged in with the USB cable.

Usually, it will also locate the exact driver or prompt you for a driver installation CD which generally comes with the hardware device that you have plugged in.

“And that’s all for now, thanks for sticking with the article, and you know it will always good to let me know about the tutorial, in the comments down below.” 🙂



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