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USB 2.0

USB 2.0 LogoUSB 2.0 (Universal Series Bus 2.0 version) is the second generation interface of computer technology that consists of a group of input and output wires with a port connection that transfer data at a higher speed than its predecessor, USB 1.1.

USB 2.0 brings a high speed connection to electronic peripheral devices like external hard drives, printers, cameras, flash drives, keyboards, gaming consoles, MP3 players and smartphones to a computer.

As a result, the computer will operate the device or display its data contents. It is intended to streamline the use and compatibility of external devices with PCs. This USB version debuted in 2000 and was standardized in 2001. A computer’s USB 2.0 connection location is commonly identified by a stylized trident symbol at the front or back of the computer tower and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

Its bandwidth is calculated at a rate of up to 480 megabits per second, rendering its speed to be far superior to USB 1.1’s 12 megabits per second. However, USB 2.0 can accommodate a total of three speeds. Low speeds of 1.5 megabits per second accommodate keyboards and speakers whereas the highest speed transfers data for devices like printers and hard drives. To determine which USB connection a computer supports, search the control panel and subsequently the hardware settings and expand the Universal Series Bus column.

The USB 2.0 system has a host (computer or server) containing several ports that allow for computer peripherals. Next, endpoints—which are register mechanisms that act as descriptors to interpret data transfer information—connect the peripheral devices to the host via pipe channels. A pipe can operate in one or two directions as the actual connection between host and endpoints. USB 2.0 polls the device in order to send data.

A pipe channel will implement one of four types of data transfers: interrupt, isochronous, bulk and control. Interrupt transfers are used for devices like keyboards that need instant responses and isochronous ones will experience potential loss of information with the transfer of something such as audio or video and allow for guaranteed bandwidth. Bulk transfers are used to pass files with the bandwidth at hand. Control transfers are bidirectional pipe channels used for simple command and status operations initiated by the host. For USB 2.0, the controller of the host will continuously sample activity from the input and output wires, or bus. The peripheral device at the lowest speed will determine the bandwidth.

USB 2.0 has experienced some adjustments and minor updates to optimize function. Among these changes: more interfaces for some peripheral devices, new plugs to enhance connector longevity, the ability for a USB to function as a host for a secondary device and USB host chargers.