Definition

USB (Universal Serial Bus, USB 3.0, SuperSpeed USB)

Part of the Peripherals glossary:

USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a plug-and-play interface between a computer and add-on devices, such as media players, keyboards, telephones, digital cameras, scanners, flash drives, joysticks and printers.

USB supports hot-swapping, which means that a new device can be added to your computer without having to add an adapter card or even having to turn the computer off. The USB peripheral bus standard was developed by Compaq, IBM, DEC, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, and Northern Telecom. The technology is available without charge for all computer and device vendors.

Since 1996, Windows operating systems have been equipped with USB drivers or special software designed to work with specific input/output (I/O) device types. Most new computers and peripheral devices are equipped with USB.

In November 2008, the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) released specifications for USB 3.0, officially known as SuperSpeed USB. According to Forum president Jeff Ravencraft, a USB 3.0-capable flash drive can transfer a gigabyte of data (the equivalent of two full-length movies) to a host device in 3.3 seconds. In contrast, it takes a USB 2.0-based device 33 seconds to transfer that amount of data.

USB 3.0-capable devices are expected to be available in 2010.

See also IEEE 1394.

This was last updated in February 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

Glossaries

  • Peripherals

    - Terms related to peripheral devices including definitions about keyboards or mice and words and phrases about printers, monitors, digital cameras and scanners.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.