EDN (March 11, 2015)
In the last 14 years, the Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become the standard interface to connect devices to a computer. Whether it’s an external hard drive, a camera, the mouse, a printer, or a scanner, the physical connection to transfer data between devices generally is a USB cable. The interface is indeed universal.
USB technology has been under development since 1993. The first official definition, USB 1.0, was introduced in 1996. It provides a Low-Speed transfer rate of 1.5 Mbits/s for sub-channel keyboards and mice, and a Full-Speed channel at 12 Mbits/s. USB 2.0, which came in 2001, made a leap to Hi-Speed transfer rates of up to 480 Mbits/s. In 2010, USB 3.0 finally hit the market.
USB 3.0 or SuperSpeed USB
USB 3.0 is the third major version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard for computer connectivity. Among other improvements, USB 3.0 adds a new transfer mode called "SuperSpeed" (SS), capable of transferring data at up to 5 Gbits/s (625 MB/s), which is more than ten times as fast as the 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s) high speed of USB 2.0. Beside different connectors used on USB 3.0 cables, they are also distinguishable from their 2.0 counterparts by either the blue color of the ports or the SS initials on the plugs.
A successor standard named USB 3.1 was released in July 2013, providing transfer rates up to 10 Gbits/s (1.25 GB/s, called "SuperSpeed+"), which effectively put it on par with the first version of Thunderbolt.
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