USB is an acronym of Universal Series Bus. Though more commonly known under its abbreviation, universal series bus is a standard used in the design and development of peripherals and connective devices. In other words, the interface point between two devices. Often this will be a computer and some peripherals, or even a phone and a wall AC adaptor. Whichever it is – USB connections can be used to transfer both data and for charging devices.
Technipages Explains USB
There are many different types of USB connections. Perhaps the most well-known one is the USB 2.0 Type A or 3.0 Type A. Both look the same and are the ‘traditional’ PC connectors currently in use, but they are far from the only ones. Another very commonly found one is the USB-C connector – currently the most popular charging port for non-Apple smartphones. Whichever type of USB connector it is though, two parts are necessary to make the connection – a female and male port. When a connection is successfully established, a data-USB cable can be used to transfer data at speeds up to 12 Mbps.
Prior to the popularisation of USB connections, the standard most often used was RA-232, a more sluggish and slow connection that was also more prone to faults. There was another type of connection that, although significantly faster, didn’t catch on as effectively as USB did. IEEE 1394 is the official name for FireWire connections – they would allow for data transfer rates of up to 400MBps. Despite being technically superior, FireWire didn’t surpass USB as a connection type. This was in part because one company – Apple – owned the Firewire, and partly because USB simply supported more different device types and a larger variety of connections. Firewire required royalties to be paid per device, while Intel offered a royalty-free version of USB up on the market.
Common Uses of USB
- USB connections allow both data and energy transfers.
- Different types of USB connections are used for different purposes.
- USB adaptors and connectors are still evolving and new ones enter the market somewhat regularly.
Common Misuses of USB
- USB connections are used to transfer data between the Internet and a computer.