What is USB - Micro-USB - Mini-USB - Type B - Type A

What is USB | Micro-USB | Mini-USB | Type B | Type A

What is USB

In computing , the terms USB (acronym for  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 communications bus guided by universal serial protocols , cables and connectors, which emerged as a way to universalize the connection of devices to different computer models .

It should be clarified that a bus, in computer 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.

USB emerged in 1996 in its version 1.0 , 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 widely used, and since then its use became the norm, replacing connectors such as the serial port, parallel port, game port, among others.

Currently most peripherals use USB connectors: pointers, flash drives, keyboards, joysticks, scanners, cameras, speakers, cell phones, etc.

This offers a myriad of advantages, beyond extreme compatibility: peripherals can be connected at any time and instantly recognized, it allows the joint transmission of data and electricity , and also allows transmission speeds of up to 1250 Mbps (in its standard current).


What is USB for?

In principle, USB fulfills an important role in today’s hypercomputer world: serving as a universal connection method , thus eliminating the need for adapter devices, to cater for the connector types of a peripheral, and even allowing rapid transit of the information between different types of electronic system.

In addition, USB allows you to charge the battery of electronic devices , connecting them to a computer, whether or not it is connected to a power line.

USB standards

The USB standard is called   the type of connector intended for these functions, which has evolved over time, 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 that failed to catch on in the year of its release. 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 cable lines: two for electricity and two for data.

Standard 3.0 – Considered super high speed, it allows reaching 600 mbps, since it includes five additional contacts, discarding the traditional optical fiber even though 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.

USB connectors

Within the same USB standard, several types and sizes of connectors are contemplated, that is, of cable terminations. Some of its characteristics, however, vary, in order to vary the polarity and avoid electrical overloads.

Type A – The most common arrangement, present in removable memory (flash) drives, is usually medium-sized, flat, and is common in hubs and many peripherals.

Type B – Elongated and square in shape, they are usually used by large devices, such as printers or scanners.

Mini-USB – Often used in digital cameras and other gadgets, 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.

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