What are Universal Serial Bus (USB) explained

What is USB?

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) maintains the USB standard. USB is the bus standard for connecting cables between computers, and devices. USB is used for data transfer and power supply.


Who developed USB?

The first designed USB 1.0 released in January 1996, by Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Compaq, DEC, Nortel, and NEC. This started replacing serial and parallel ports. In 2000, HP, Intel, Nokia, NEC and Philips developed USB 2.0. Every new standard is faster than previous standard.

What are the USB Naming Scheme?

There has been four generations of USB specifications: USB 1.x, 2.x, 3.x and USB 4. Maximum cable length should be below 3 meters for full speed. Table below shows the map of USB:-

Below shows all the connectors pictorially :-

What is the USB 3.2?

USB 3.2 is the 2018 generation of USB standard. Let us understand the new naming schema. Please note in USB 3.2 the 1st Generation has 5 Gbps speed. The 2nd Generation has 10 Gbps speed. 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second = 125 MegaBytes per second).

USB 3.2 Gen 1 = USB 3.2 Gen 1 * 1 means 1st Generation with 1 lane of 5 Gbps. That totals 1 * 5 Gbps = 5 Gbps.

USB 3.2 Gen 2 = USB 3.2 Gen 2 * 1 means 2nd Generation with 1 lane of 10 Gbps. That totals 10 Gbps.

USB 3.2 Gen 2 * 2 means 2nd Generation with 2 lanes of 10 Gbps each. That totals 20 Gbps (2 * 10 Gbps).

USB 3.2 also overtakes the previous naming scheme. That is, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (also called USB 3.0) is USB 3.2 Gen 1. And, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (also called USB 3.1) is now USB 3.2 Gen 2.

If still any confusion, you may comment below this post.

Can I use USB 3.2 cable on USB 2.0 device?

Of course, all USB standards are backward compatible. So even USB 3.2 cable can connect with USB 1.0. But the speed will be lowered to the older device hardware. Also, connector should be compatible.

Do we require software installation to run USB?

No, it gets installed itself. All drivers comes with the hardware itself, so no need for separate software downloads.

What are the USB color code?

It is updated till USB 3.2 Gen 2*2 as below:-

Apple Lightening Cable vs USB?

Apple introduced the connector in 2012. It has only 8 pin and is an upgrade of previous Apple versions. But the transfer speed is same as USB 2.0 Hi-Speed equal to 480 Mbps or 40 MB/s.

What is the best USB port?

Currently, USB 3.2 Gen 2*2 Type C connector is the fastest available port. USB-IF is in development of USB 4.

What is USB 4?

It was announced in March 2019. It is currently under development with Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Renesas Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.

It is developed with increased bandwidth and power usage. It also allows USB 3.2 Tunneling, Display Port, and PCI express Tunneling. It also support Thunderbolt 3. The Generation coding is not same as USB 3.2.

It is expected to hit the market soon.

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