Universal Serial Bus; an interface standard for connecting computers and electronic devices for communication and charging.


Universal Serial Bus is a specification to establish communication between devices and a host controller (usually personal computers). Though designed for personal computers, it has become commonplace on other devices such as smartphones, PDAs and video game consoles, and is also used as a power cord for charging portable devices.


Currently, there are three major versions of the USB specification, with USB 2.0 now being available on most devices, thus replacing USB 1. It allows a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 480 Mbit/s.

USB 3.0, a specification completed in 2008, can transmit data at up to 5 Gbit/s. USB devices are available with various connectors and cables. USB 3.0 introduces a new connector type that however remains backwards-compatible with older USB devices.

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Basic trident USB Logo.

Related tags

  • lists questions about storage drives connected by USB, especially devices known otherwise as flash drive, USB stick, USB key and thumb

  • for questions specifically about the new USB 3.0 standard

  • for questions specifically about the USD 2.0 standard