USB – The Industry Standard
USB ports have become the industry standard for connecting nearly anything to a computer such as flash drives to sophisticated industrial equipment. Most newer computers will have at least 1 USB port with some having upwards of 6 or more.
Advantages of USB
USB has gained in popularity over many of its predecessors like serial and parallel ports for many reasons. Here are a few that make USB a popular choice for connectivity:
- Plug and Play – USB devices can be plugged right into the port and are ready for use once the driver software is loaded.
- Speed – USB 1.0 can transfer data up to 1.5 MB/Sec, USB 2.0 can reach speeds of 60 MB/Sec. USB 3.0 can reach speeds of 625 MB/Sec (also known as SuperSpeed), while USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed+) can reach speeds of up to 2.5 GB/Sec.
- Cost Effective/Expandable – USB hubs and cables are extremely inexpensive making the ability to build an infrastructure very affordable. By using hubs and cables, as many as 127 USB devices can be connected to one port.
- Hot Swappable – USB devices can be connected and disconnected without first turning the power off.
- Noise Immunity – For applications like remote or industrial I/O, the use of USB devices moves sensitive data conversion circuitry out of the noise filled PC environment and places it up to 5 meters away at the other end of the USB cables.