USB – Universal Connections
Posted on May 12, 2008 by Jared
USB (universal serial bus) is a standard serial bus that is used to connect devices together. The most popular application being connecting an enormous amount of peripherals to your computer. It’s not uncommon to use three or four USB devices in any given day (keyboard, mouse, USB Flash Drive, blackberry). What’s that? You’re still stuck at “serial bus”? Please, allow me to explain!In the computing world, a serial connection refers to the method of transferring information sequentially, one bit (those little ones and zeros) at a time. A bus is a computer subsystem that connects two components (or two computers) together.
Imagine a two story house with a very narrow staircase connecting the two floors. There’s a family of eight living in this house and they all want to go upstairs. In order to get from one floor to the next, the family members must line up in single file and climb the stairs one at a time. That, my friend, is like a serial bus.
USB was created in 1996 to establish a standard way of connecting devices together. It is also useful as a means of transferring power to low-consumptions devices. Over the years, USB has gone through many improvements. The most current being the “high speed” USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/s transfers) which was released in 2000. A future version of USB (USB 3.0) is in the works. It is supposed to be roughly ten times the speed of USB 2.0 and be backwards compatible with previous version of USB (4.8 Gbit/s).
As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of peripherals that use USB. My personal favorites include USB Flash Drives and USB External Hard Drives. USB Flash Drives allow me to carry important files everywhere I go (I keep it on my key chain). The USB External Hard Drive is an excellent way to easily add storage to your computer. I like to use them as a backup device.
So there you have it… an explanation of USB technology in a nut shell. Go forth and impress your neighbors.