Can you imagine living in this digital era without USB connection? Well, yes we have had Wifi but, hey! how many devices shipped with wireless charging capability? Yes we can transfer files through Wifi connection but how many of you frequently use wifi to transfer your files from-and-to your device. USB becomes very important since its capability in transferring data and electricity. It is also becomes a key point with substantial role when you want to flash ROM/firmware, flash custom recovery, establish ADB connection, and so on. There are many things of USB that irreplaceable with Wifi or any other similar means of connectivity.
What is the USB actually? The term stands for Universal Serial Bus. In a nutshell, the USB is a plug-and-play interface which is commonly used to connect a computer to a wide variety of devices – including your Android phone. The USB port standard has been the most commonly used connection technology all over the world. Introduced and maintained by USB Implementers Forum, this technology becomes so popular thanks to its characteristics which are already standardized. This technology replaced any of its previous technology perfectly.
You may have heard or have been familiar with USB 2.0. However, there are few other standards of USB including its earliest version (USB 1.0) and its earlier version (USB 3.1 gen2). Take a look at this picture below.
USB 1.0 – Announced in 1996, the initial released of USB technology was never been widely used world wide. In fact, it never made its way to consumers.
USB 1.1 – The next minor update, which is dubbed as Full Speed, is the one that had managed to reach consumers. Launched initially in 1998, this version has a maximum speed of 1.5MB/s (12Mbps) and it is widely used to connect a computer with its peripherals devices like printers, keyboard and mouse.
USB 2.0 – This version of USB is probably the most widely used standard for years up until now. Dubbed as High Speed (Hi-speed) USB, this technology has maximum data throughput of 60MB/s (480Mbps). At this speed rate, this version is the first to be very compatible for connecting a computer with external storage like Flash Disk or External HDD. Floppy disk was slowly replaced by the release of USB 2.0.
USB 3.0 – Known as the SuperSpeed USB, it now has the transfer speeds of up to 500MB/s (5Gbps). Despite it was released in 2008, its adoption is not as vast as the earlier version. Many laptops and motherboards still provide both USB 2.0 and 3.0. However, this standard has been improved significantly especially its power management and bandwidth delivery capacity.
USB 3.1 – The minor update of USB 3.0 is dubbed as SuperSpeed+ USB. Its basically still similar to its previous major version (3.0) except the doubled speed increase. It supports data transfer speed of up to 1.25GB/s (10Gbps). Moreover, its ability to deliver three power profiles. Thus, this standard allows larger devices to draw from a host up to 2A at 5V for a power consumption of up to 10W. As you would expect USB 3.1 is faster than USB 3.0, fast enough that it can be used to drive 4K displays. That means that laptops (and PCs of the future) won’t necessarily need HDMI or VGA sockets.
Type A – USB-A socket is designed to provide a “downstream” connection intended for host controllers and hubs. This socket is basically the common sockets available on a computer-side. This is because the USB host will supply a 5V DC power on the VBUS pin.
Type B – This connection port is not commonly available in many devices. It usually can be found on large peripherals like Printers. USB Type-B connectors allows the connection of peripherals without having to expose the risk of connecting two host computers to one another.
Mini Type-B – This type of USB connectors by default has 5 pins, including an extra ID pin to support USB On-The-Go (OTG). Hence, it allows mobile devices and other peripherals to act as a USB host.
Micro Type-B – This connector type is widely known as Micro USB. It holds 5 pins to support USB OTG. It is basically a stripped-down version (in term of its size) of the Mini USB. This connector type is so far the most used one among other types of USB. Its success was tracked down in 2009 when the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) announced to include Micro-USB interface into the Universal Charging Solution (UCS).
Type-C – Now enter the USB Type-C. This connector technology was invented at the same period of USB 3.1 Standard, the Type-C connector has a universal cable with the same connectors on each side. That being said, users will no longer have to worry about plugging it in upside down because the connector will function both ways. USB-C cables can deliver significantly more juice, so it can be used to charge laptops. That is what you see in MacBook Air laptop. It also supports for sending simultaneous video signals and power streams. What does it means? Shortly saying, it means that you can connect to and power a native DisplayPort, MHL, or HDMI device, or connect to almost anything else easily – with the assumption that you have the proper adapter and cables.
The USB-C connector itself can support various exciting new USB standard like USB 3.1 and USB power delivery (USB PD). Again, please understand the distinctive terms between USB Type-C and USB 2.0 or 3.0. The USB Type-C is just a connector shape, and the underlying technology could just be USB 2 or USB 3.0. Remember, Type-C is the connection type and may actually run on a lesser spec like USB 2.0, so do not assume that you will be getting all that 3.1 goodness just because you see that tiny reversible port. The physical USB-C connector isn’t backwards compatible, but the underlying USB standard is.
At first glance, the USB Type-C connector looks similar to a micro USB connector, though it’s more oval-shaped and slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature (better power management and faster speed).
USB Type-C is small, compact, and it will replace the standard USB Type-A and B connections as well as the myriad of micro and mini USB ports.