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Tip #591: In-Depth Overview of USB

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

USB is ubiquitous and growing in speed.

A USB logo and plug.

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The folks at Juiced Systems created an excellent overview of USB called: “Know Your USB. A Practical Guide to the Universal Serial Bus.” (Juiced Systems, based in Orange County, CA, designs & creates unique high performance computer accessories for power users and enterprise professionals.)

Key Takeaways

  • USB cables, ports, and connectors (hardware) have varying USB versions, generations, and specifications (software) that dictate the speed and performance.
  • USB types are denoted by letters, such as Type-A and Type-B, while USB versions have numbers to them, like USB 3.2 or USB4.
  • A USB device may physically fit into a USB port, but its performance can be hampered by a generation or standard mismatch. For example, your USB 2.0 device can work with a USB 3.0 port, but the speed takes on USB 2.0’s. Similarly, a 3.0 device can work with a USB 2.0 port, and the speed is that of the port. USB devices often specify the highest standard they support and require in their product labels.
  • Speaking of speed, USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4 each have maximum data transmission rates. These are theoretical numbers at best, and the actual speed still varies. If you are experiencing slow data transfer, it may have to do with the USB port (transfer speed), as noted above, as well as the read/write speed of the devices involved.

USB has been hailed as the king of connectors or the port that changed everything. But at the end of the day, it is that cable or port that makes your life easier as you charge your phone, save files, or access your peripherals on your laptop.

EXTRA CREDIT

The full report is well-written, in-depth and easy-to-understand. Here’s the link.


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