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What is USB and the difference between USB versions

BySophia Windsor 2018-06-14 22395

USB has been widely used in our daily life. However, you may be confused by omnifarious USB products in the market. This post will help you have a further understanding of the USB and different USB versions.


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What is USB?

USB (Universal Serial Bus) is an industry standard initially developed in the mid-1990s that define the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices. It is currently developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).


USB is designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals (including keyboards, pointing devices, digital cameras, printers, portable media players, disk drives and network adapters) to personal computers, both to communicate and to supply electric power. It has become commonplace on other devices, such as smartphones, PDAs and video game consoles. USB has effectively replaced a variety of earlier interfaces, such as parallel ports, as well as separate power chargers for portable devices.

the USB on the laptop

USB 1.0

The USB 1.0 was released in January 1996, having specified a data rate of 1.5Mbit/s (Low Bandwidth or Low Speed). It does not allow for extension cables or pass-through monitors because of timing and power limitations.

USB 1.0

USB 1.1

The USB 1.1 was released in August 1998, the earliest revision that was widely adopted and led to Pcs. It has the speed of 12Mbit/s (fast speed).

USB 1.1

USB 2.0

The USB 2.0 was launched in April 2000, In addition to the 12Mbits/s - the fastest speed of USB.1., it is increased to 480Mbit/s high speed or high bandwidth. However, only 280Mbit/s or 35MB/s can be produced due to the bus access constraints.

USB 2.0


Maikou MK-205 USB 2.0 to Micro USB Connector

Maikou MK-205 USB 2.0 to Micro USB Connector - WHITE


USB 3.0

The USB 3.0 was released on November 12, 2008. It defines a new SuperSpeed transfer mode, which relates to new backwards-compatible plugs, receptacles, and cables. The USB 3.0 provides a data signaling rate of 5.0Gbit/s. But it is reasonable to get only around 3.2Gbit/s (0.4GB/s or 400MB/s) due to the overhead incurred by 8b/10b encoding and the 4Gbit/s payload throughput.

USB 3.0

USB 3.1

On 31 July 2013, the USB 3.1 was released by the USB group. The USB 3.1 specifications replace the USB 3.0's SuperSpeed transfer a double rate - 10Git/s and reduces line coding overhead to only 3% by changing the encoding scheme to 128b/132b, the transfer speed arrives at 7.2Git/s. Also, the standard of USB 3.1 is compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 version.

USB 3.1

Mini USB

The Mini USB is another USB standard, which is smaller than the normal USB, more compatible with small electronics like mobile devices, etc.. It is divided into A type, B type and AB type. The Mini USB B type is the most common interface because of the outstanding anti-wrong plug and compact size. It is widely used on SD card, MP3, digital camera and removable hard disk.

mini USB

Micro USB

The Micro USB is the portable version of normal USB 2.0, the interface is smaller than Mini USB of some smartphone. It is the next-generation of Mini USB, supporting OTG and with the same pin quantity - 5 pins. The special feature is that owning stainless steel case for no problems cause when it is plugged in and out ten thousand times.

micro USB


gocomma Micro USB Charge and Data Transfer Cable for Xiaomi - BLACK


USB Type-C

USB Type-C (USB C) is a new USB interface after the USB-A, USB-B. Since released in 2014, the USB Type-C has gained wide popularity for its 24-pin double-sided connecton among laptops, cellphones and other devices, which is a great update on the previous USB-A and USB-B. It brings great convenience for us, as we can easily charge our devices with no need to pay attention to the right side of interface. And it is supposed that the USB C will become a final standard replacing all the USB connector interface in the market.        

USB Type-C


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