What USB Connection Types Are There?
Today’s computers and electronic devices include USB functionality, and often different types of USBs. While most of us are familiar with using USB cables on a daily basis to charge portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, it can be difficult to distinguish between the different types of USB connections.
There are several different kinds of USB connectors on the market, each with a specific design to maintain compatibility and support for the latest devices. Here are the primary types of USB connectors currently available:
This is the standard flat, rectangular interface of USB Type-A, found on host controllers and at the end of almost every USB cable. The majority of computers have multiple USB-A ports for connecting external devices. This USB type can only be inserted one way.
This type of USB is mainly used for things like printers and other powered devices which need to connect to a computer. Type-B is an almost square connector which isn’t very common on the latest devices.
Although Mini USB is not commonly used today, it is still implemented on peripheral devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players. This connection type was originally designed for earlier models of smartphones before it was replaced by Micro USB.
This is the current standard for mobile devices and is a smaller form of the Mini USB connector. This allows for mobile devices to become slimmer while still connecting to a computer or hub. Although Micro USB is present on various phones, tablets, and other power devices, many latest models have progressed onto USB Type-C.
USB Type-C is the newest USB interface that was introduced to the market alongside the new USB 3.1-speed standard. Dissimilar to previous USB connectors, Type-C is reversible (meaning it can be plugged in either side up) and can be used on both upstream controller ports and devices. You will see this standard on many new laptops and smartphones; it should eventually become the new standard for mobile devices.
Although not technically a USB standard, the Lightning USB connection type is Apple’s trademark connector used for all Apple products, such as the iPhone, iPad and AirPods. This type can be seen on all of the latest Apple devices released after 2012.
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