USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. It is a data communication system within the components of a computer or between computers.
USB connector refers to the plug found on the cable and the receptacle that is located on the host device or extension cable. Examples are USB Type-C and Type-A.
USB devices refer to the peripherals, including, but not limited to, storage devices, smartphones, webcams, keyboards, scanners, and hubs.
USB hub expands the number of USB ports for peripheral devices to be connected simultaneously. It can be a stand-alone device or one that is built into the equipment.
USB port refers to the interface that allows devices to be connected through a cable.
USB version refers to the standards or releases of USB, for example, USB4, USB 3.0, and USB 1.1.
Backward compatibility refers to a product or technology’s property of being interoperable with older systems. For example, USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. The data transfer rate, however, will vary.
Hot swapping is a functionality of USB that allows a user to insert or remove storage devices, cameras, keyboards, and mice without turning off the computer. This feature is akin to the concept of plug and play.
Thunderbolt refers to a technology that supports fast data transfer and charging power. Its latest version is Thunderbolt 3, whose connector shape is that of USB-C.
USB Power Delivery (PD) is a specification that offers increased power levels of up to 100 watts. Exclusive to USB-C to Lightning and USB-C to C cables, the energy flow is bidirectional, so a host or a peripheral device can charge the other. One example is a monitor that is plugged into a wall socket that can charge a laptop and still display.
HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. It is an audio and video standard found in television sets, computers, video projectors, and more.
DisplayPort refers to an audio and video standard that replaced Video Graphics Array (VGA) and Digital Video Interface (DVI).
USB-IF stands for “USB Implementers Forum Inc.” The nonprofit organization exists for the promotion, adoption, and compliance of USB technology. Members include Microsoft, Apple, Intel, and HP.
Alt-Mode refers to an interface that allows HDMI-enabled source devices, such as a laptop, to use a USB-C connector to connect to an HDMI-enabled display, like a PC monitor. For this standard, you will use a USB Type-C to HDMI cable.
FireWire or IEEE 1394, works in the same way as USB, being an interface that facilitates high-speed and real-time data transfer. The two standards differ in how they achieve the results. Apple developed this industry standard, which was launched in 1995.
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