What is USB? Structure and main functions of USB you need to know
What is USB? Usb is the abbreviation for Universal Serial Bus, this is a connection standard (or communication method) jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft.
USB is a connection standard that brings many useful uses to computer users. Because USB not only allows data to be transferred back and forth, but also supports connecting multiple devices to the computer. To learn more about what USB is and what functions USB provides from these connection ports, let's find out with TipsMake below.
- What is USB?
- Basic structure of a USB
- What is the function of USB and its main role?
- Popular USB port connection standards today
- Frequently asked questions about what USB is, how to use USB and the uses of USB ports
What is USB?
USB is the abbreviation for Universal Serial Bus, this is a connection standard (or communication method) jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft. USB is used as an intermediary to connect and transmit data back and forth between peripheral devices and the computer.
To make connections between devices more convenient and faster as well as simplify connection ports on PCs and laptops, USB also allows users to connect many other devices such as mice, phones, modems. ,. Besides, USB also allows devices to exchange power sources with each other.
Currently, one USB port can connect up to 63 devices at the same time with fast transmission speeds of up to 12Mbit/s and optimized USB capacity of more than 2TB.
Basic structure of a USB
A USB connection standard has a basic structure including the following parts:
- Small printed circuit board: A circuit board containing electronic components with one or more flash memory chips soldered directly to the printed circuit board.
- USB port connector: Most connections today often use standard A to be able to connect directly to the computer through USB slots.
- Protective cover: Is a part made from metal or plastic that protects the components inside the USB in a solid state. In addition, the manufacturer also equips a cover or switch to help the USB connector slide in or out easily when needed. Nowadays, most protective shells have diverse designs to attract users as well as equipped with some shockproof or waterproof capabilities.
- Write-proof lever: In some USB sockets, manufacturers design an additional lever to limit data recording. At the same time, it also helps prevent the operating system from writing/modifying data to the drive.
- Operation indicator light: Nowadays, most manufacturers often equip an additional activity indicator light on the USB drive to display the working mode. This type of light can be a small LED diode mounted on the USB drive board with many different colors depending on the manufacturer. In addition, the way the lights work is not uniform, there will be differences between brands, for example, there is a light that lights up when the USB flashes to show the read/write status, and vice versa. Therefore, users should observe a few times to recognize the operating rules of the indicator light, and also note one thing: they should not remove it while the light is working.
What is the function of USB and its main role?
In addition to the main function of storing and transferring data between devices, USB also has other important uses as follows:
Repair the computer
Most recently produced computers allow users to boot from a USB flash drive, meaning that when the USB is plugged into the computer and booted, the user can manipulate and repair the operating system or faulty software. on the computer. Not only that, some other USB types also allow backup and BIOS updates, which previously could only be done via floppy disk.
USB is also popular among network and system administrators when it can help users perform tasks related to system administration. By backing up some settings from the first computer device connected to USB. Then, data can be copied and applied immediately when users plug that USB into other computer devices without having to manually reset it. This is to ensure that all computers are identical to the same set of devices without fear of any confusion or errors.
In some computer systems that require high security, USB is a device that can be used as an electronic key to start the system or any software on the computer. In addition, some other software companies also use specially designed USBs to activate each time the software is needed. This is understood to limit the illegal copying and use of software by certain subjects.
Personal data security
A regular USB today often provides the ability to access and customize data for any access object. However, there are also some USB drives that are manufactured based on user needs and are also equipped with additional functions that require a password each time they are used, require biometric fingerprint confirmation, or only allow the first person to have access. Access data contained in USB for some more advanced types.
Popular USB port connection standards today
Today's USB ports have many differences in shape and transmission speed, so to make it easier to distinguish, manufacturers have divided into common connection types as follows:
Sort by connector shape
Classified by connector shape, USB types using common plugs are as follows:
1. USB – A (Type A)
The A-head USB port is rectangular in shape with a length of 1.4cm (9/16 inches), a height of 0.65cm (¼ inch) and is the most popular connection form on the market today. USB – A ports are often used for wired mouse and keyboard devices.
2. USB – B (Type B)
This type of USB has a shape similar to a square. Compared to USB - A, USB - B is less popular. In addition, this type of connection standard is often connected to routers, printers, computers and game consoles.
3. Micro USB
This is a new version of USB – A and USB – B and is commonly connected on mobile devices. In addition, this type of micro USB port is also used in some older devices such as digital cameras or computer peripherals. However, today, most devices have replaced micro USB with micro – USB and USB – C cables.
4. USB – C (Type C)
Compared to the above port types, USB C size is quite thin and small with a length of 0.84 cm and a width of 0.26 cm. This is the newest type of port today and stands out with the ability to connect even when the port is plugged into the device in reverse.
Sort by transmission speed
In the next classification of transmission speed, USB ports are classified into the following types:
1. USB 1.x
USB 1.x is a type of USB port that supports data transfer speeds of 12Mb/s and supports a maximum connection of up to 127 peripheral devices.
2. USB 2.0
USB 2.0 is considered a high-speed USB port and is researched and developed by many famous brands such as Microsoft, Intel, Phillips, NEC,. In 2001, this connection port was officially launched on the market and quickly stood out thanks to its supported transmission speeds of up to 480Mbps/s or 60 Mbps/s.
3. USB 3.0
USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, was officially launched on the market by the manufacturer Buffalo Technology in January 2020. However, later when the USB 3.1 connection standard was announced, the USB 3.0 port was renamed USB 3.1 Gen1.
Compared to the USB 2.0 line, USB 3.0 has many outstanding improvements in speed, performance, energy as well as bandwidth. This type of connection consists of two unidirectional data paths used to perform data sending and receiving operations at the same time.
The highlight of the USB 3.0 connection is that it has a supported transfer speed of up to 5.0 Gbps/s or 640 Mbps/s.
4. USB 3.1
USB 3.1 is an upgraded version of the USB 3.0 port, so it is also known as SuperSpeed+. At the same time, this is also the newest connection type on the market introduced on July 31, 2013.
The USB 3.1 connection port has a transfer speed of up to 10Gpbs/s and is compatible with Apple's first generation Thunderbolt port. Besides, this type of connection is also compatible with many connections between other USB versions. For example, devices with USB 1.1 and 2.0 port designs can still operate at USB 3.0 ports at speeds that only reach the published allowable levels for USB 1.1 and 2.0.
Frequently asked questions about what USB is, how to use USB and the uses of USB ports
What is the use of the USB port?
The USB port performs the main task of transferring data between devices without using the internet. In addition, this connection standard also performs many other important roles such as transmitting power to devices, computer repair, system administration, electronic keys or personal data security.
The best USB brands?
In case users want to buy a USB port but do not know which supplier is good and reputable today, they can refer to the following brands:
How are the latest USB lines different from previous lines?
Compared to older USB lines, the latest connection lines today such as USB 2.0 or 3.0, 3.1 have the advantage of having faster data transfer speeds.
In addition, these USB lines also contain high storage capacity, good compatibility, durability and fast read/write speed, popular as the USB 3.0 64GN SanDisk line, USB 3.0 32GB Adata,.
What is the average lifespan of a USB when in use?
In theory, USB drives have an average lifespan of up to 10 years or more. However, in reality, the durability of a USB will be affected by many factors such as brand, recording cycle, device quality as well as how the user uses it, so the lifespan will fluctuate unevenly.
What is the correct way to use the USB port?
The most correct way to connect a USB port is for the user to plug each end into the USB port.
Note: For some devices that use multiple USB ports, users should not plug both ends of the cable into the same device. Because, doing so will easily cause a short circuit and damage the device.
In addition, users can also plug into the USB port at any time, even when the connected device is in an active or inactive state (on/off).
In some other devices, before plugging in and unplugging the USB cable, users should not forget to refer to the instructions for use recommended by the manufacturer. If done incorrectly, this can easily damage the device and the data files being transmitted between devices.
On the other hand, some USB devices can also be connected to each other using a USB hub, which means that with a USB Hub device, users can not only plug into one USB port but can also add additional Other ports to be able to connect more devices.
Therefore, if using a USB hub, users should plug in separate cables for each device and connect them to the separate hub.
Above is information shared about what USB is as well as the structure and main functions of this connection standard for computer devices. Hopefully this TipsMake article will help you better understand USB ports to connect and use them most effectively.
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