USB Connector Variations

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USB Connector Variations



What is a USB connector?

USB (Universal Serial Bus) connectors are the standard connection between a computer and a peripheral device such as a monitor, keyboard or mouse. USB is an industry standard that sets up details for cables and connectors and conventions for association, communication, and control supply between peripherals, and computers. USB standards typically are defined by versions or generations such as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc., which defines the data transfer speed and the function of the USB cable, while the USB ports or plugs like USB type A, type B, type C, etc., defines the shape of the cable plugs and ports.

What is the difference between USB 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0?

There are many differences between USB 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 generations, including speed, dimensions, and compatibility. Though not defined in the USB specifications, you can generally tell which USB generation by the color of the plastic inside the device. The USB 1.0 and 2.0 are either black or white, USB 3.0 is blue, and USB 3.1 is teal. The chart below provides the data transfer speeds for the different USB generations. Also, for USB 2.0 and older the data transfer is in a single direction, whereas the later generations USB 3.0 and 3.1, allow data transfer in both directions. The max power output for USB 1.0 is 2.5V / 0.5A, USB 2.0 is 2.5V / 1.8A, USB 3.0 5V / 1.8A and then USB 3.1 is 20V / 5A.

USB Variation

Top speed

Max power

Data transfer

USB 1.0


2.5V / 0.5A

One way

USB 2.0


2.5V / 1.8A

One way

USB 3.0


5V / 1.8A

Both ways

USB 3.1


20V / 5A

Both ways

What is the difference between USB types?

USB type A is the foremost common type and will be on one end of almost all USB cables. USB type A, generation 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 are all compatible with each other.

Square shaped, the USB type B is frequently utilized to connect a computer to a printer, scanner, or similar equipment. Generation 1.0 and 2.0 plugs (male) are compatible with generation 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 receptacles (female). 3.0 and 3.1 plugs are only compatible with 3.0 and 3.1 receptacles.

The USB type C is the new addition to the USB family. This connector acts like a traditional mobile charger. The USB type C shape is available only in generation 3.1. This plug is horizontally symmetrical, which means it can be inserted into the receptacle in either direction.

Mini USB plugs type A and B were used for charging older cells phones, cameras and MP3 players. USB mini type B plugs work with the second generation of mini-B and mini-AB receptacles.

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