USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a connection protocol used to link different peripherals in an electronic device, usually from a computer or laptop, to allow data transfer, carry out operations, and even charge the battery of different devices that are connected, as could be the case with a smartphone.

In short, it is a port that works as a connection socket between different devices. In this way, USB sticks became extremely popular by allowing users to save several GB on a very small device in a very simple way, since all they have to do is plug it into the USB port, open the unit and get started. to transfer the files.

Definition of USB stick?

When we talk about USB, strictly, we always have to refer to the connection port. However, this term has also been generalized to talk about memories or pen drives. These have a flash memory that allows it to function as an information storage device.

USB memories or pen drives have been updated and have replaced, almost in their majority, the old floppy disks and CDs, since their use is quite extensive and comfortable. Currently they are very economical and can be obtained in different capacities: 1,2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 256, 5 GB and even 1 TB, so that they can be adjusted without problems to the needs or demands of each user.

Like the ports, the possibilities offered by a USB memory are quite flexible and range from storing encrypted information to installing an operating system through memory, without neglecting external storage for different devices.

Likewise, it is possible to find additional components, such as the LEDs that indicate memory activity, its cover (to protect the connector) and the test points or jumpers that are used when the unit is manufactured.

What is the function of the USB memory?

When personal computers began to be marketed in every home in the 1980s, different peripherals (keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.) used different connections to function. This was impractical, and in 1996 685 companies from around the world came together to create a single type of connection that all peripherals could use. With what objective? That any peripheral could be connected to any input, so that manufacturers only had to focus on placing several inputs of the same type in a computer.

The success of the Universal Serial Bus was so great that it became the connection protocol par excellence, which is why today it has crossed the world of computing and is found in televisions, hard drives, gadgets, devices and peripherals of all kinds . The latest DVDs and Blu-Rays on the market cannot work without a USB connector.

Thanks to these tickets, the technological and entertainment possibilities have been expanded. Both smartphones and tablets have micro-USB inputs that allow files to be transferred to any computer or even played on televisions and screens.

Jeff Ravencraft, an Intel USB expert, says that in 2008 alone, more than 6 billion USB-connected devices were manufactured worldwide, in addition to approximately 2 billion devices with USB ports being sold each year.

We can find these connectors in all devices on the market, on screens, televisions, computers, laptops, tablets, consoles, cameras, smartphones, printers, etc., bypassing any operating system, USB works on any device and has become at the universal entrance.

USB memory types

USB became the universal connector par excellence, but that does not mean that all USB ports are the same, since it is possible to find different types on the market.

  • USB type-A: the most common type and the one most users find. It is a flattened rectangle that has internal connections. The male connector is at the end of the cables, while the female type is the port.
  • USB type-B: connectors and ports of this type are slightly smaller and wider than type A. They are generally used in devices such as printers.
  • USB type-C: type of connector that came along with USB 3.1 and its main feature is that it is reversible. This means that no matter which side you connect to, it will always work both ways. That is to say, now there is no possibility that the user gets the wrong side and has to flip the cable, now it always connects no matter how it is accommodated.
  • MiniUSB: in this type we can find two modes, the 5-pin and the 8-pin. They are usually used in external hard drives, cameras or music players.
  • MicroUSB: the smallest and flattest type of all and is designed to be used in new smartphones, either to transmit information through it or to charge the battery of the device using this connector. The success of this type was so great that even at the end of 2010 the European Union approved a regulation in which manufacturers were required that their devices have a microUSB port to be able to charge their battery.

USB speed

  • USB 1.0: This was the first version of the connector and began to be used in the 90s. It worked perfectly so that a keyboard, mouse and a webcam could be connected to a computer without complications. However, it was very slow to exchange files or to play high-quality videos. The maximum read speed was 1.5 Mbps (192 KB / s).
  • USB 1.1 – The world of technology is constantly evolving and USB is no exception. The USB 1.1 version increased its speed to 12 Mbps (1.5 MB / s), allowing a greater number of files to be transferred in a lesser amount of time.
  • USB 2.0: this is the most widely used standard today, which allows data to be transferred at a speed of 125 Mbps (16 MB / s).
  • USB 3.0: this new version was very effective by increasing up to 10 times the speed of the previous version, being able to reach speeds of up to 4.8 Gbps (600 MB / s). This taking into account that the measurements are theoretical, since in practice it may vary depending on the device.
  • USB 3.1: the latest version that managed to further increase the data transfer speed to 10 Gbps, in addition to introducing the new USB Type-C connector, which introduced some very interesting new features.

Conclusion of USB memory usage

After just under three decades since the invention, USB ports have eliminated different connection ports from marking and have become the standard port for connecting different devices to each other and sharing information. Its use is very simple and with the passage of time it has become even easier. As for USB drives, their capacity has continued to increase to meet the needs of users, and although more and more users choose to save their information in the cloud, these memories remain the most popular option to save and convey important information.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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