We use them every day for many household devices, but we usually don’t know any details about them. Many people don’t know that USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Many think that there is just a USB cable which we use to charge our phone, store memory and connect our devices to the computer, like a mouse, keyboard, Wi-Fi and other.
Like every other device USB had its upgrades and some new features with every patent that is made. Besides plugging in devices and storing memory, there are also USB converters. New technologies are coming out every 6 months. It is smart to know how something is made and where it began, than it will be easier to understand the current technology we use.
USB converter has a different usage than standard USB cables we know about. It actually has a body part with many components so it can be used as a converter. The main usage of 1203-USB, for example, is to provide a communication interface between a computer and any Reliance Electric product implementing DPI or MDI.
This device has several ports for connecting devices. First one is the computer cable port where USB cable is plugged in. Also, there are status indicators which show converting operations that are being made. This includes LED lighting that indicates is data being received from the computer or sent to the computer. There is a drive cable port for DPI or MDI drives. Three cables are used for this device. First one is the DPI cable called 20-OIM-H10. The second one is MDI cable, and the third is the USB cable with a type B connector to connect to the converter and a type A connector to connect to a computer.
The first USB cable was 1.0 version that came out in 1996. As the first patent made like this, obviously it was slow with speed starting at 1.5 MB/s reaching up to 12 MB/s at full speed. It wasn’t a big success until 1.1 version came out in 98. They didn’t waste much time at upgrading it to the 2.0 which was released in 2000. The speed drastically changed to 480 MB/s high speed. This was the first type of USB cable that has both Mini A and Mini B type.
Get more information about it here: http://www.allusb.com/usb-history
Of course, the speed was not the only difference in 1.1 and 2.0. This version allows two USB devices to share information with each other besides not using the same host. Battery charging was more efficient. It has increased to the maximum of 5 A. This version was widely accepted and took the market when it was released. That is why the next major version came 8 years later.
Versions 3.0 and 3.1 are also named as generation 1 and 2. The first version was released in 2008 and the difference in speed was like between 1.1 and 2.0. Generation one reached 5 GB/s and it is called SuperSpeed transfer mode. You can also identify them by eye because there is a change in color, 3.0 is blue inside. When you consider every aspect which takes away the speed, but you can’t do anything about it, you will get 3.2 GB/s top speed.USB 3.0 is still being used, but with new tech like USB C, which we will talk about, we could see all devices running on this new technology.
Generation 2 was released in 2013 reaching speeds of up to 10 GB/s. It is said that generation 1 had SuperSpeed mode of transfer, what is new at 3.1 is SuperSpeed+ mode which has twice the speed of generation 1. These ports are being used now all over the world. Charging phones or connecting devices, every tech company is looking to have a USB port on their device if it needs charging. Wireless connections are becoming more popular, but there is nothing more reliable than a direct connection with a cable. These two generations are also the first to use micro ports. Read more about it here.
The USB C is the new generation that started in 2015 but was mostly spread in 2017. In the beginning, the Retina MacBook switched to a one port design. That was the USB C connector that could handle everything from charging too to video out, to the internet. Then the real change started when MacBook pro came up with 2 or 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports which are based on the USB C connector.
They finally reached the point where we have a connector that is almost universal. Of course, there is a lot to be done because it is relatively new in terms of technology and adoption, but just the fact that you can sit charge your Apple laptop and also someone with Samsung phone can use the same charger sounds like something from the future.
Another thing that is interesting is when the new MacBook Pro came out, they showed new displays by LG and one of them was a Thunderbolt 3 based 5k display. What makes it interesting is that you can plug your MacBook into it and it is basically a one cord solution. When you plug in the monitor with a standard wall power adapter and then you have the cord that you use to charge your MacBook, you can plug one end into your MacBook and you plug the other end into the LG monitor. The really cool thing about it is that not only you are running a 5k display from a laptop with only one cord, but that same cable also allows you to charge your MacBook through the monitor.Change in tech industry will for sure be the wide usage of this new generation of high speed ports and cables.
The possibilities with this generation are really endless. In theory, you could have a workstation or any laptop just having a row of USB C’s and that’s it. Devices would be more versatile because instead of having a dedicated port for each function that you want to do, you could just have five ports and just pick which one you want to use.