USB 101: THE DIFFERENT VERSIONS AND CAPABILITIES OF USB
The Universal Serial Bus was originally developed to be an industry standard connection between communications, computers, and other devices. Dubbed the USB, this technology quickly replaced previous standards that hadn’t been regulated across devices. It became the gold standard, the Lingua Franca of the technological boom.
5 MAIN USB VERSIONS AND WHAT THEY DELIVER
There are dozens of different types of USBs, from 1.0-4.0, A-C, and even minis – and it’s tough to keep track of which ones perform what.
USB 1.0 Capabilities
USB 1.0 was originally designed in an effort to streamline connection between all devices. After arriving on the scene in 1996, USB 1.0 became the go-to standard between brands, technologies, and devices.
USB 2.0 Capabilities
After USB 1.0 took off in popularity, USB 2.0 set out to increase speed for connecting, charging, and sharing. USB 2.0 went through several iterations over a multiple year span, becoming a critical innovation from 2000-2010 that ushered in a new age of expected speed and accuracy for syncing devices, charging rapidly, and sharing downloads and uploads seamlessly.
USB 3.0 Capabilities
USB 3.0 was developed basically to shame anyone who thought 2.0 was truly an upgrade (kind of). It introduced the USB “SuperSpeed” capability, as well as improving data transfer and charging speeds. USB 3.0 ports are denoted with a blue color code (or the super sweet SS initials).
USB 4.0 Capabilities
USB 4.0 was developed to improve upon data transfer rates up to 40 Gbps and interoperability with Thunderbolt. This capability will available on the USB-C connector and cable.
USB Type-C Capabilities
USB Type-C is backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0, eliminating the compatibility with Type-A ports. Almost any device that supports USB 3.1 use USB-C port. Both ends of the USB cable are the same which allows a device to be connected with reversible plug orientation, so you never have to worry about plugging in your device the wrong way. USB Type-C delivers more power which gives the opportunity to charge larger electronics, such as laptops.
WHY DO THE DIFFERENT USB VERSIONS MATTER?
Each USB version delivers different speeds and works with different ports.
It’s important to understand which USB versions work best on which power levels. In order to incorporate USB ports into designing spaces and furniture, it is critical to know what USB version will fit most efficiently. Whether you are looking for a fast charge to keep people moving along, a trickle charge hoping they’ll stick around longer, or the ability to sync and share between other devices like printers and computers, you’ll need to know each capacity.
An easy fallback is to assume that USB 2.0 ports will work well when incorporating into furniture. While USB 3.0 is even better, USB 2.0 is still internationally the most compatible option. In theory, USB 3.0 was developed to work on 2.0 ports and for 3.0 ports to also accept 2.0 charging and data transfers.
As always, the supplier of your tech will know best – don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, they’re there to help you succeed. Check out Byrne’s variety of USB solutions to best meet your power and data needs.