Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard developed in the mid-1990s that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices.
USB was designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals, such as 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 serial and parallel ports, as well as separate power chargers for portable devices.
A Universal Serial Bus Cable, normally referred to as a USB cable, is primarily used to connect a USB device to a host. Common hosts include computers and video game consoles. While there are multiple USB standards, cables that are fully compliant with USB 1.1 specifications will work with USB 2.0 technology and vice versa. USB cables can be identified by the USB-trident on top of the plug overmolds of type “A” and “B” connectors.
A USB cable can have numerous types of plug ends, the style of which is called a connector. Connector types include Standard-A, Standard-B, Mini-B, Micro-A, Micro-B, and Micro-AB. These plugs go into corresponding receptacles built into hosts and devices. Standard-A receptacles are the type commonly referred to as USB ports on computers; Standard-B receptacles are usually found on large peripheral devices such as printers and scanners; Mini- and Micro- receptacles are usually on small devices like digital cameras and cellular phones; Mini-AB receptacle are, according to the standard, only on “USB On-The-Go” devices. Most USB cables that connect a device to a computer will have a Standard-A plug on one end and another type of plug on the other.
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