Universal Serial Bus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from USB) Jump to: navigation, search "USB

" redirects here. For other uses, see USB (disambiguation). USB Universal Serial Bus

Original USB Logo Year created: January 1996

Width: Number devices: Capacity

1 bit of 127 per host controller 12 or 480 Mbit/s (1.5 to 60 MByte/s) Serial Yes Yes

Style: Hotplugging? External?

A USB Series “A” plug, the most common USB plug

The USB "trident" Icon Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard to interface devices. USB was designed to allow many peripherals to be connected using a single standardized interface socket and to improve the plug-and-play capabilities by allowing devices to be connected and disconnected without rebooting the computer (hot swapping). Other convenient features include providing power to low-consumption devices without the need for an external power supply and allowing many devices to be used without requiring manufacturer specific, individual device drivers to be installed. USB is intended to help retire all legacy varieties of serial and parallel ports. USB can connect computer peripherals such as computer mouse, keyboards, PDAs, gamepads and joysticks, scanners, digital cameras, printers, personal media players, and flash drives. For many of those devices USB has become the standard connection method. USB was originally designed for personal computers, but it has become commonplace on other devices such as PDAs and video game consoles. As of 2008, there are about 2 billion USB devices in the world.[1] The design of USB is standardized by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), an industry standards body incorporating leading companies

from the computer and electronics industries. Notable members have included Agere (now merged with LSI Corporation), Apple Inc., HewlettPackard, Intel, NEC, and Microsoft. Contents [hide]
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History Overview Host controllers Device classes o 4.1 USB mass-storage o 4.2 Human-interface devices (HIDs) 5 USB signaling 6 USB protocol analyzers 7 USB connector properties o 7.1 Usability o 7.2 Durability o 7.3 Compatibility 8 Types of USB connector o 8.1 Proprietary connectors and formats 9 USB cables o 9.1 Maximum Useful Signalling Distance 10 Power o 10.1 Non-standard devices o 10.2 PoweredUSB 11 USB compared with FireWire 12 Version history o 12.1 Prereleases o 12.2 USB 1.0 o 12.3 USB 2.0 o 12.4 USB 3.0 13 Related technologies 14 See also 15 References 16 External links

16.1 USB 3.0

[edit ] Hist or y

The USB 1.0 specification was introduced in November 1995. USB was promoted by Intel (UHCI and open software stack), Microsoft (Windows software stack), Philips (Hub, USB-Audio), and US Robotics. Originally USB was intended to replace the multitude of connectors at the back of PCs, as well as to simplify software configuration of communication devices. The original Apple "Bondi blue" iMac G3, introduced 6 May 1998, was the first computer to offer USB ports as standard [2], including the connector for its new keyboard and mouse.[3] USB 1.1 came out in September 1998 to help rectify the adoption problems that occurred with earlier iterations of USB.[4] As of 2008, the USB specification is at version 2.0 (with revisions). Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lucent (now Alcatel-Lucent), Microsoft, NEC, and Philips jointly led the initiative to develop a higher data transfer rate than the 1.1 specification. The USB 2.0 specification was released in April 2000 and was standardized by the USB-IF at the end of 2001. Equipment conforming with any version of the standard will also work with devices designed to any previous specification (known as backward compatibility). Smaller USB plugs and receptacles for use in handheld and mobile devices, called Mini-B, were added to USB specification in the first engineering change notice. A new variant of smaller USB plugs and receptacles, Micro-USB, was announced by the USB Implementers Forum on January 4, 2007.[5] [edit ] Ov er view

A conventional USB hub

A USB system has an asymmetric design, consisting of a host, a multitude of downstream USB ports, and multiple peripheral devices connected in a tiered-star topology. Additional USB hubs may be included in the tiers, allowing branching into a tree structure, subject to a limit of 5 levels of tiers. USB host may have multiple host controllers and each host controller may provide one or more USB ports. Up to 127 devices, including the hub devices, may be connected to a single host controller. USB devices are linked in series through hubs. There always exists one hub known as the root hub, which is built-in to the host controller. Socalled "sharing hubs", which allow multiple computers to access the same peripheral device(s), also exist and work by either switching access between PCs automatically or manually. They are popular in small-office environments. In network terms, they converge rather than diverge branches. A single physical USB device may consist of several logical subdevices that are referred to as device functions, because each individual device may provide several functions, such as a webcam (video device function) with a built-in microphone (audio device function).

USB endpoints actually reside on the connected device: the channels to the host are referred to as pipes USB device communication is based on pipes (logical channels). Pipes are connections from the host controller to a logical entity on the device named an endpoint. The term endpoint is also occasionally used to refer to the pipe. A USB device can have up to 32 active pipes, 16 into the host controller and 16 out of the controller. Each endpoint can transfer data in one direction only, either into or out of the device, so each pipe is uni-directional. Endpoints are grouped into interfaces and each interface is associated with a single device function. An exception to this is endpoint zero, which is used for device configuration and which is not associated with any interface. When a new USB device is connected to a USB host, the USB device enumeration process is started. The enumeration process first sends a reset signal to the USB device. The speed of the USB device is

determined during the reset signaling. After reset, USB device setup information is read from the device by the host and the device is assigned a unique host-controller-specific 7-bit address. If the device is supported by the host, the device drivers needed for communicating with the device are loaded and the device is set to configured state. If the USB host is restarted, the enumeration process is repeated for all connected devices. The host controller polls the bus for traffic, usually in a round-robin fashion, so no USB device can transfer any data on the bus without an explicit request from the host controller. [edit ] Host c ontr oller s The computer hardware that contains the host controller and the root hub has an interface geared toward the programmer which is called Host Controller Device (HCD) and is defined by the hardware implementer. In the version 1.x age, there were two competing HCD implementations, Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI) and Universal Host Controller Interface (UHCI). OHCI was developed by Compaq, Microsoft and National Semiconductor; UHCI was by Intel.

A typical USB connector. VIA Technologies licensed the UHCI standard from Intel; all other chipset implementers use OHCI. UHCI is more software-driven, making UHCI slightly more processor-intensive than OHCI but cheaper to implement. The dueling implementations forced operating system vendors and hardware vendors to develop and test on both implementations, which increased cost.

HCD standards are out of the USB specification's scope, and the USB specification does not specify any HCD interfaces. In other words, USB defines the format of data transfer through the port, but not the system by which the USB hardware communicates with the computer it sits in. During the design phase of USB 2.0, the USB-IF insisted on only one implementation. The USB 2.0 HCD implementation is called the Enhanced Host Controller Interface (EHCI). Only EHCI can support hispeed (480 Mbit/s) transfers. Most of PCI-based EHCI controllers contain other HCD implementations called 'companion host controller' to support Full Speed (12 Mbit/s) and Low Speed (1.5 Mbit/s) devices. The virtual HCD on Intel and VIA EHCI controllers are UHCI. All other vendors use virtual OHCI controllers. [edit ] De vic e c lass es Devices that attach to the bus can be full-custom devices requiring a full-custom device driver to be used, or may belong to a device class. These classes define an expected behavior in terms of device and interface descriptors so that the same device driver may be used for any device that claims to be a member of a certain class. An operating system is supposed to implement all device classes so as to provide generic drivers for any USB device. Device classes are decided upon by the Device Working Group of the USB Implementers Forum. Device classes include:[6]

Class Usage






class 0

(Device class is unspecified. Interface descriptors are used for determining the required drivers.)


Interface Audio

speaker, microphone, sound card



Communications and ethernet adapter, modem, serial CDC Control port adapter



Human Interface keyboard, mouse, joystick Device (HID)



Physical Interface force feedback joystick Device (PID)


Interface Image

Digital Camera (Most cameras function as Mass Storage for direct access to storage media).


Interface Printer

laser printer, Inkjet printer


Interface Mass Storage

USB flash drive, memory reader, digital audio player




USB hub

full speed hub, hi-speed hub


Interface CDC-Data

(This class is used together with class 02h - Communications and CDC Control.)


Interface Smart Card

USB smart card reader


Interface Content Security



Interface Video



Interface Personal Healthcare -



Diagnostic Device

USB compliance testing device


Interface Wireless Controller

Wi-Fi adapter, Bluetooth adapter




ActiveSync device


Interface Application Specific IrDA Bridge



Vendor Specific

(This class code indicates that the device needs vendor specific drivers.)

Note class 0: Use class information in the Interface Descriptors. This base class is defined to be used in Device Descriptors to indicate that class information should be determined from the Interface Descriptors in the device. [edit ] USB mas s-stor a ge

Main article: USB mass storage device class

A flash drive, a typical USB mass-storage device. USB implements connections to storage devices using a set of standards called the USB mass storage device class (referred to as MSC or UMS). This was initially intended for traditional magnetic and optical drives, but has been extended to support a wide variety of devices, particularly flash drives. This generality is because many systems can be controlled with the familiar idiom of file manipulation within directories (The process of making a novel device look like a familiar device is also known as extension). Though most computers are capable of booting off USB Mass Storage devices, USB is not intended to be a primary bus for a computer's internal storage: buses such as ATA (IDE), Serial ATA (SATA), and SCSI fulfill that role. However, USB has one important advantage in that it is possible to install and remove devices without opening the computer case, making it useful for external drives. Originally conceived and still

used today for optical storage devices (CD-RW drives, DVD drives, etc.), a number of manufacturers offer external portable USB hard drives, or empty enclosures for drives, that offer performance comparable to internal drives. These external drives usually contain a translating device that interfaces a drive of conventional technology (IDE, ATA, SATA, ATAPI, or even SCSI) to a USB port. Functionally, the drive appears to the user just like another internal drive. Other competing standards that allow for external connectivity are eSATA and FireWire. [edit ] Huma n-interfac e d evi ces (HI Ds) Mice and keyboards are frequently fitted with USB connectors, but because most PC motherboards still retain PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and mouse as of 2007, they are often supplied with a small USB-to-PS/2 adaptor, allowing usage with either USB or PS/2 interface. There is no logic inside these adaptors: they make use of the fact that such HID interfaces are equipped with controllers that are capable of serving both the USB and the PS/2 protocol, and automatically detect which type of port they are plugged into. Joysticks, keypads, tablets and other human-interface devices are also progressively migrating from MIDI, PC game port, and PS/2 connectors to USB. Apple Macintosh computers have been using USB exclusively for all external wired mice and keyboards since January 1999 (Powerbooks used ADB keyboards until 2005[citation needed]). The original iMac raised public awareness of USB considerably in August 1998, as it discarded legacy ports to use only USB. PCs had USB ports prior to the iMac's introduction, but they were included with a full complement of traditional ports which limited USB's adoption. The iMac's influence can be seen in the number of USB peripherals with matching translucent, colored plastic enclosures that were available in the late '90s and early '00s. [edit ] USB sign alin g USB supports three data rates:

A Low Speed (1.1, 2.0) rate of 1.5 Mbit/s (187.5 kB/s) that is mostly used for Human Interface Devices (HID) such as keyboards, mice, and joysticks. A Full Speed (1.1, 2.0) rate of 12 Mbit/s (1.5 MB/s). Full Speed was the fastest rate before the USB 2.0 specification and many

devices fall back to Full Speed. Full Speed devices divide the USB bandwidth between them in a first-come first-served basis and it is not uncommon to run out of bandwidth with several isochronous devices. All USB hubs support Full Speed. A High-Speed (2.0) rate of 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s).

Experimental data rate:

A Super-Speed (3.0) rate of 4.8 Gbit/s (600 MB/s). The USB 3.0 specification will be released by Intel and its partners in mid2008, according to early reports from CNET news. According to Intel, bus speeds will be 10 times faster than USB 2.0 due to the inclusion of a fiber-optic link that works with traditional copper connectors. Products using the 3.0 specification are likely to arrive in 2009 or 2010.

USB signals are transmitted on a twisted pair data cable with 90Ω ±15% impedance,[7] labeled D+ and D−. These collectively use halfduplex differential signaling to combat the effects of electromagnetic noise on longer lines. D+ and D− usually operate together; they are not separate simplex connections. Transmitted signal levels are 0.0–0.3 volts for low and 2.8–3.6 volts for high in Full Speed and Low Speed modes, (and ±400mV in High Speed (HS) mode) this phrase is ambiguous. In FS mode the cable wires are not terminated, but the HS mode has termination of 45Ω to ground, or 90Ω differential to match the data cable impedance. USB uses a special protocol called "chirping" to negotiate the HighSpeed mode. In simplified terms, a device that is HS capable always connects as an FS device first, but after receiving a USB RESET (both D+ and D- are driven LOW by host) it tries to pull the D- line high. If the host (or hub) is also HS capable, it returns alternating signals on D- and D+ lines letting the device know that the tier will operate at High Speed. Clock tolerance is 480.00 Mbit/s ±500ppm, 12.000 Mbit/s ±2500ppm, 1.50 Mbit/s ±15000ppm. The USB standard uses the NRZI system to encode data, and uses "bit stuffing" by always injecting one artificial "zero" bit if the stream of data contains six consecutive "ones" before converting the bit stream to NRZI.

Though Hi-Speed devices are commonly referred to as "USB 2.0" and advertised as "up to 480 Mbit/s", not all USB 2.0 devices are Hi-Speed. The USB-IF certifies devices and provides licenses to use special marketing logos for either "Basic-Speed" (low and full) or Hi-Speed after passing a compliance test and paying a licensing fee. All devices are tested according to the latest spec, so recently-compliant LowSpeed devices are also 2.0 devices. The actual throughput currently (2006) attained with real devices is about two thirds of the maximum theoretical bulk data transfer rate of 53.248 MB/s. Typical hi-speed USB devices operate at lower speeds, often about 3 MB/s overall, sometimes up to 10-20 MB/s.[8] [edit ] USB pr ot oc ol an al yzer s Due to the complexities of the USB protocol, USB protocol analyzers are invaluable tools to people developing USB devices. USB analyzers are able to capture the data on USB and display information from lowlevel bus states to high-level data packets and class-level information. [edit ] USB co nn ect or pr ope r tie s

Series "A" plug and receptacle. The connectors specified by the USB committee were designed to support a number of USB's underlying goals, and to reflect lessons learned from the varied menagerie of connectors then in service. [edit ] Usa bility

It is difficult to incorrectly attach a USB connector. Connectors cannot be plugged-in upside down, and it is clear from the appearance and kinesthetic sensation of making a connection when the plug and socket are correctly mated. However, it is not obvious at a glance to the inexperienced user (or to a user without sight of the installation) which way around the connector goes, so it is often necessary to try both ways. More often than not, however, the side of the connector with the "trident" logo is the top. Only a moderate insertion/removal force is needed (by specification). USB cables and small USB devices are held in place by the gripping force from the receptacle (without the need for the screws, clips, or thumbturns that other connectors require). The force needed to make or break a connection is modest, allowing connections to be made in awkward circumstances or by those with motor disabilities. The connectors enforce the directed topology of a USB network. USB does not support cyclical networks, so the connectors from incompatible USB devices are themselves incompatible. Unlike other communications systems (e.g. RJ-45 cabling) genderchangers are almost never used, making it difficult to create a cyclic USB network.

USB extension cord [edit ] Dur ability

The connectors are designed to be robust. Many previous connector designs were fragile, with pins or other delicate components prone to bending or breaking, even with the application of only very modest force. The electrical contacts in

a USB connector are protected by an adjacent plastic tongue, and the entire connecting assembly is usually further protected by an enclosing metal sheath. As a result USB connectors can safely be handled, inserted, and removed, even by a small child. The connector construction always ensures that the external sheath on the plug contacts with its counterpart in the receptacle before the four connectors within are connected. This sheath is typically connected to the system ground, allowing otherwise damaging static charges to be safely discharged by this route (rather than via delicate electronic components). This means of enclosure also means that there is a (moderate) degree of protection from electromagnetic interference afforded to the USB signal while it travels through the mated connector pair (this is the only location when the otherwise twisted data pair must travel a distance in parallel). In addition, the power and common connections are made after the system ground but before the data connections. This type of staged make-break timing allows for safe hot-swapping and has long been common practice in the design of connectors in the aerospace industry.

[edit ] Comp atibility

The USB standard specifies relatively low tolerances for compliant USB connectors, intending to minimize incompatibilities in connectors produced by different vendors (a goal that has been very successfully achieved). Unlike most other connector standards, the USB specification also defines limits to the size of a connecting device in the area around its plug. This was done to avoid circumstances where a device complies with the connector specification but its large size blocks adjacent ports. Compliant devices must either fit within the size restrictions or support a compliant extension cable which does. Two-way communication is also possible. In general, cables have only plugs, and hosts and devices have only receptacles: hosts having type-A receptacles and devices type-B. Type-A plugs only mate with type-A receptacles, and type-B with type-B. However, an extension to USB called USB On-The-Go allows a single port to act as either a host or a device — chosen by which end of the cable plugs into the socket on the unit. Even after the cable is hooked up and the units are talking, the two units may "swap" ends under program control. This facility targets units such as

PDAs where the USB link might connect to a PC's host port as a device in one instance, yet connect as a host itself to a keyboard and mouse device in another instance. [edit ] Type s of USB co nn ect or

USB Connectors

Different types of • 8-pin • • • • A-type plug


connectors from mystery Mini-B B-type A-type


right plug plug plug receptacle


Pin configuration of the USB connectors Standard A/B, viewed from face of plug There are several types of USB connectors, and some have been added as the specification has progressed. The original USB specification detailed Standard-A and Standard-B plugs and receptacles. The first engineering change notice to the USB 2.0 specification added Mini-B plugs and receptacles. The data slots in the A - Plug are actually farther in the plug than the outside power wires to prevent data errors by powering the device first, then transferring data.

The Mini-B, Micro-A, Micro-B , and Micro-AB connectors are used for smaller devices such as PDAs, mobile phones or digital cameras. The Standard-A plug is approximately 4 by 12 mm, the Standard-B approximately 7 by 8 mm, and the Micro-A and Micro-B plugs approximately 2 by 7 mm. Micro-USB is a further connector, that was announced by the USB-IF on January 4, 2007.[9] It is intended to replace the Mini-USB plugs used in many new smartphones and Personal digital assistants. This MicroUSB plug is rated for 10,000 connect-disconnect cycles. It is about half the height of the mini-USB connector, but features a similar width. In the Universal Serial Bus Micro-USB Cables and Connectors Specification, details have been laid down for Micro-A plugs, Micro-AB receptacles, and Micro-B plugs and receptacles, along with a StandardA receptacle to Micro-A plug adapter. The carrier led group OMTP have recently endorsed micro-USB as the standard connector for data and power on mobile devices.[10] [edit ] Pr oprieta r y co nn ect or s an d f or mats Microsoft's original Xbox game console uses standard USB 1.1 signaling in its controllers and memory cards, but features proprietary connectors and ports. Similarly, IBM UltraPort uses standard USB signaling, but via a proprietary connection format. American Power Conversion uses USB signaling and HID device class on its uninterruptible power supplies using 10P10C connectors. HTC, a company which makes Windows Mobile-based Communicators, has a proprietary connector called HTC ExtUSB, which combines mini-USB with audio input and output. Nokia includes a USB connection as part of the Pop-Port connector on their mobile phones. The secondgeneration iPod Shuffle uses a TRS connector to carry USB, audio, or power signals. Many digital cameras have a tiny 8 pin connector that combines USB with video and audio out. [edit ] USB ca ble s The maximum length of a standard USB cable is 5.0 meters (16.4 ft). The primary reason for this limit is the maximum allowed round-trip delay of about 1500 ns. If a USB device does not answer to host Pin Name Cable color Description 1 2 3 4 VCC D− D+ GND Red White Green Black +5V Data − Data + Ground

commands within the allowed time, the host considers the command to be lost. When USB device response time, delays from using the maximum number of hubs and delays from cables connecting the hubs, host and device are summed, the maximum delay caused by a single cable turns out to be 26 ns.[11] The USB 2.0 specification states that the cable delay must be less than 5.2 ns per meter, which means that maximum length USB cable is 5 meters long. However, this is also very close to the maximum possible length when using a standard copper cable.


Pin Name Color Description




+5 V



White Data -



Green Data +

permits distinction of 4 ID none Micro-A- and Micro-B-Plug Type A: connected to Ground Type B: not connected 5 GND Black Signal Ground

The data cables are a twisted pair to reduce noise and crosstalk.

[edit ] Maxim um Usef ul Si gn alling Dista nc e

Although a single cable is limited to 5 meters, the USB specification permits up to five USB hubs in a long chain of cables and hubs. Consequently the maximum possible signalling distance is 30 meters, using six 5-meter cables and five hubs. In actual use, the last hub is a more convenient endpoint since some USB devices include built-in cables intended to directly connect to a hub, setting the maximum useful signalling distance at 25 meters. Because USB is able to provide power for additional devices connected to the bus, a special type of USB extender cable was created which consists of a miniature one-port USB hub molded into one end of a 5 meter cable. These mini-hubs are fully self-contained within the cable, requiring no separate bulky hub device, and are as simple to use as plugging cables together, with each hub drawing power through all the previous single-port hubs in the chain. The bus power is limited however, so the most practical application is to use four single-port hub extender cables, one plain 5 meter cable, and then a powered multiport hub at the very end to support multiple additional USB devices. [edit ] Power The USB specification provides a 5 V supply on a single wire from which connected USB devices may draw power. The specification provides for no more than 5.25 V and no less than 4.75 V (5 V±5%) between the positive and negative bus power lines. [12] Initially, a device is only allowed to draw 100 mA. It may request more current from the upstream device in units of 2 mA up to a maximum of 500 mA. If a bus-powered hub is used, the devices downstream may only use a total of four units — 400 mA — of current. This limits compliant buspowered hubs to 4 ports. The host operating system typically keeps track of the power requirements of the USB network and may warn the computer's operator when a given segment requires more power than is available.

On-The-Go and Battery Charging Specification both add new powering modes to the USB specification. The latter specification allows USB devices to draw up to 1.5 A from hubs and hosts that follow the Battery Charging Specification.

As of June 14, 2007, all new mobile phones applying for a license in China are required to use the USB port as a power port.[13][14] In September, 2007 the Open Mobile Terminal Platform—a forum dominated by mobile network operators but including manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG—announced that its members had agreed on micro-USB as the future common connector for mobile devices.[15][16] [edit ] Non-st an dar d de vic es

A USB vacuum cleaner A number of USB devices require more power than is permitted by the specifications for a single port. This is a common requirement of external hard and optical disc drives and other devices with motors or lamps. Such devices can be used with an external power supply of adequate rating, which is allowed by the standard, or by means of a dual input USB cable, one input of which is used for power and data transfer, the other solely for power, which makes the device a nonstandard USB device. Some external hubs may, in practice, supply more power to USB devices than required by the specification but a standard compliant device must not depend on this. Some non-standard USB devices use the 5 V power supply without participating in a proper USB network. These are usually referred to as USB decorations. The typical example is a USB-powered reading light; fans, mug heaters, battery chargers (particularly for mobile telephones) and even miniature vacuum cleaners are available. In most cases, these items contain no digitally based circuitry, and thus are

not proper USB devices at all. This can cause problems with some computers — the USB specification requires that devices connect in a low-power mode (100 mA maximum) and state how much current they need, before switching, with the host's permission, into high-power mode. In addition to limiting the total average power used by the device, the USB specification limits the inrush current (to charge decoupling and bulk capacitors) when the device is first connected; otherwise, connecting a device could cause glitches in the host's internal power. Also, USB devices are required to automatically enter ultra low-power suspend mode when the USB host is suspended; many USB hosts do not cut off the power supply to USB devices when they are suspended since resuming from the suspended state would become a lot more complicated if they did. There are also devices at the host end that do not support negotiation, such as battery packs that can power USB powered devices; some provide power, while others pass through the data lines to a host PC. USB Power adapters convert utility power and/or power from a car's electrical system to run attached devices. Some of these devices can supply up to 1 A of current. Without negotiation, the powered USB device is unable to inquire if it is allowed to draw 100 mA, 500 mA, or 1 A. The Apple SuperDrive uses a non-standard extension to USB to negotiate with the MacBook Air to draw 1.5 A from the USB port.[17] Due to the proprietary protocol, the SuperDrive only functions when connected directly to the Air, and cannot be operated with an external supply or through a USB hub, even if the hub can source the current specified on the package.[18] [edit ] Power edUSB

Main article: PoweredUSB
PoweredUSB uses standard USB signaling with the addition of extra power lines. It uses 4 additional pins to supply up to 6A at either 5V, 12V, or 24V (depending on keying) to peripheral devices. The wires and contacts on the USB portion have been upgraded to support higher current on the 5V line, as well. This is commonly used in retail systems and provides enough power to operate stationary barcode scanners,

printers, pin pads, signature capture devices, etc. This standard was developed by IBM, NCR, and FCI/Berg. It is essentially two connectors stacked such that the bottom connector accepts a standard USB plug and the top connector takes a power connector. [edit ] USB com par ed w ith Fir eW ir e USB was originally seen as a complement to FireWire (IEEE 1394), which was designed as a high-speed serial bus which could efficiently interconnect peripherals such as hard disks, audio interfaces, and video equipment. USB originally operated at a far lower data rate and used much simpler hardware, and was suitable for small peripherals such as keyboards and mice. The most significant technical differences between FireWire and USB include the following:
• •

USB networks use a tiered-star topology, while FireWire networks use a repeater-based topology. USB uses a "speak-when-spoken-to" protocol; peripherals cannot communicate with the host unless the host specifically requests communication. A FireWire device can communicate with any other node at any time, subject to network conditions. A USB network relies on a single host at the top of the tree to control the network. In a FireWire network, any capable node can control the network. USB runs with a 5 V power line, whereas Firewire can supply up to 30 V.

These and other differences reflect the differing design goals of the two buses: USB was designed for simplicity and low cost, while FireWire was designed for high performance, particularly in timesensitive applications such as audio and video. Although similar in theoretical maximum transfer rate, in real-world use, especially for high-bandwidth use such as external hard-drives, FireWire 400 generally, but not always, has a significantly higher throughput than USB 2.0 Hi-Speed.[19][20][21][22] The newer FireWire 800 standard is twice as fast as FireWire 400 and outperforms USB 2.0 Hi-Speed both theoretically and practically.[23] The chipset and drivers used to implement USB and Firewire have a crucial impact on how much of bandwidth prescribed by the specification is achieved in the real world,

along with compatibility with peripherals.[24] Audio peripherals in particular are affected by the USB driver implementation.[citation needed] One reason USB supplanted FireWire, and became far more widespread, is cost; FireWire is more expensive to implement, producing more expensive hardware. [edit ] Ver sio n hist or y [edit ] Pr er el ea ses

Hi-Speed USB Logo

• • • • •


0.7: Released in November 1994. 0.8: Released in December 1994. 0.9: Released in April 1995. 0.99: Released in August 1995. 1.0 Release Candidate: Released in November 1995.

[edit ] USB 1.0

USB1.0:Released in January 1996. Specified data rates of 1.5 Mbit/s (Low-Speed) and 12 Mbit/s (FullSpeed). Did not anticipate or pass-through monitors. Few such devices actually made it to market. USB 1.1: Released in September 1998. Fixed problems identified in 1.0, mostly relating to hubs. Earliest revision to be widely adopted.

[edit ] USB 2.0

USB 2.0: Released in April 2000. Added higher maximum speed of 480 Mbit/s (now called HiSpeed). Further modifications to the USB specification have been done via Engineering Change Notices (ECN). The most important

of these ECNs are included into the USB 2.0 specification package available from USB.org: o Mini-B Connector ECN: Released in October 2000. Specifications for Mini-B plug and receptacle. These should not be confused with Micro-B plug and receptacle. o Errata as of December 2000: Released in December 2000. o Pull-up/Pull-down Resistors ECN: Released in May 2002. o Errata as of May 2002: Released in May 2002. o Interface Associations ECN: Released in May 2003. New standard descriptor was added that allows multiple interfaces to be associated with a single device function. o Rounded Chamfer ECN: Released in October 2003. A recommended, compatible change to Mini-B plugs that results in longer lasting connectors. o Unicode ECN: Released in February 2005. This ECN specifies that strings are encoded using UTF16LE. USB 2.0 did specify that Unicode is to be used but it did not specify the encoding. o Inter-Chip USB Supplement: Released in March 2006. o On-The-Go Supplement 1.3: Released in December 2006. USB On-The-Go makes it possible for two USB devices to communicate with each other without requiring a separate USB host. In practice, one of the USB devices acts as a host for the other device. o Battery Charging Specification 1.0: Released in March 2007. Adds support for dedicated chargers (power supplies with USB connectors), host chargers (USB hosts that can act as chargers) and the No Dead Battery provision which allows devices to temporarily draw 100 mA current after they have been attached. If a USB device is connected to dedicated charger or host charger, maximum current drawn by the device may be as high as 1.5 A. (Note that this document is not distributed with USB 2.0 specification package.) o Micro-USB Cables and Connectors Specification 1.01: Released in April 2007. o Link Power Management Addendum ECN: Released in July 2007. This adds a new power state between enabled and suspended states. Device in this state is not required to

reduce its power consumption. However, switching between enabled and sleep states is much faster than switching between
• o o

enabled and suspended states, which allows devices to sleep while idle. High-Speed Inter-Chip USB Electrical Specification Revision 1.0: Released in September 2007.

[edit] USB 3.0

USB 3.0 (Future version): On September 18, 2007, Pat Gelsinger demonstrated USB 3.0 at the Intel Developer Forum. USB 3.0 is targeted at ten times the current bandwidth, reaching roughly 4.8 Gbit/s (600MB/s) by utilizing two additional highspeed differential pairs for "Superspeed" mode, and with the possibility for optical interconnect.[25][26] The USB 3.0 specification is planned to be released early in the second half of 2008,[27] and commercial products are expected to arrive in 2009 or 2010.[28] Backwards-Compatibility and Efficiency: USB 3.0 is designed to be backwardscompatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 and employs more efficient protocols to conserve power.[25]

[edit] Related technologies The PictBridge standard allows for interconnecting consumer imaging devices. It typically uses USB as the underlying communication layer. The USB Implementers Forum is working on a wireless networking standard based on the USB protocol. Wireless USB is intended as a cable-replacement technology, and will use ultra-wideband wireless technology for data rates of up to 480 Mbit/s. Wireless USB is well suited to wireless connection of PC centric devices, just as Bluetooth is now widely used for mobile phone centric personal networks (at much lower data rates).

Streaming media
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Streaming multimedia is multimedia that is constantly received by, and normally displayed to, the end-user while it is being delivered by the provider (the term "to display" is used in this article in a general sense that includes audio playback.) The

name refers to the delivery method of the medium rather than to the medium itself. The distinction is usually applied to media that are distributed over telecommunications networks, as most other delivery systems are either inherently streaming (e.g. radio, television) or inherently non-streaming (e.g. books, video cassettes, audio CDs). The verb 'to stream' is also derived from this term, meaning to deliver media in this manner.

• • • •

1 History 2 Streaming bandwidth and storage 3 Protocol issues 4 See also

[edit] History
Attempts to display media on computers date back to the earliest days of computing, in the mid-20th century. However, little progress was made for several decades, primarily due to the high cost and limited capabilities of computer hardware. During the late 1980s, consumer-grade computers became powerful enough to display various media. The primary technical issues with streaming were:
• •

having enough CPU power and bus bandwidth to support the required data rates creating low-latency interrupt paths in the OS to prevent buffer underrun[citation needed]

However, computer networks were still limited, and media was usually delivered over non-streaming channels, such as CD-ROMs. The late 1990's saw:
• • • •

greater network bandwidth, especially in the last mile increased access to networks, especially the Internet use of standard protocols and formats, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML commercialization of the Internet

These advances in computer networking combined with powerful home computers and modern operating systems made streaming media practical and affordable for

ordinary consumers. Stand-alone Internet radio devices are offering listeners a "nocomputer" option for listening to audio streams. In general, multimedia content is large, so media storage and transmission costs are still significant; to offset this somewhat, media is generally compressed for both storage and streaming. A media stream can be on demand or live. On demand streams are stored on a server for a long period of time, and are available to be transmitted at a user's request. Live streams are only available at one particular time, as in a video stream of a live sporting event. Research in streaming media is ongoing and representative research can be found at the Journal of Multimedia.

[edit] Streaming bandwidth and storage
Unicast Connections require multiple connections from the same streaming server even when it streams the same content Streaming media storage size (in the common file system measurements megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, and so on) is calculated from streaming bandwidth and length of the media with the following formula (for a single user and file): storage size (in megabytes) = length (in seconds) · bit rate (in kbit/s) / 8,388.608 (since 1 megabyte = 8 * 1,048,576 bits = 8,388.608 kilobits) Real world example: One hour of video encoded at 300 kbit/s (this is a typical broadband video for 2005 and it's usually encoded in a 320×240 pixels window size) will be: (3,600 s · 300 kbit/s) / (8*1024) give around 130 MB of storage If the file is stored on a server for on-demand streaming and this stream is viewed by 1,000 people at the same time using a Unicast protocol, you would need: 300 kbit/s · 1,000 = 300,000 kbit/s = 300 Mbit/s of bandwidth This is equivalent to around 125 GiB per hour. Of course, using a Multicast protocol the server sends out only a single stream that is common to all users. Hence, such a

stream would only use 300 kbit/s of serving bandwidth. See below for more information on these protocols.

[edit] Protocol issues
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Designing a network protocol to support streaming media raises many issues, such as:

Datagram protocols, such as the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), send the media stream as a series of small packets. This is simple and efficient; however, there is no mechanism within the protocol to guarantee delivery. It is up to the receiving application to detect loss or corruption and recover data using error correction techniques. If data is lost, the stream may suffer a dropout. The Real-time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) and the Real-time Transport Control Protocol (RTCP) were specifically designed to stream media over networks. The latter two are built on top of UDP. Reliable protocols, such as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), guarantee correct delivery of each bit in the media stream. However, they accomplish this with a system of timeouts and retries, which makes them more complex to implement. It also means that when there is data loss on the network, the media stream stalls while the protocol handlers detect the loss and retransmit the missing data. Clients can minimize the effect of this by buffering data for display.

Multicasting broadcasts the same copy of the multimedia over the entire network to all clients Unicast protocols send a separate copy of the media stream from the server to each client. In terms of difficulty of implementing technically, these protocols are the most simplistic. At the cost of this simplicity, there can be massive duplication of the data being sent on the network.

Multicast protocols were developed to try to cut down on the duplication that Unicast protocols cause. These protocols send only one copy of the media stream over any given network connection, i.e. along the path between any two network routers. Many of these protocols require special routing

hardware capable of broadcasting the stream. These multicasts are one-way connections which very closely mirror the functionality of over the air television in that viewers lose their on-demand viewing abilities. Some of these lost viewing abilities include rewinding and fastforwarding a media file. There exist streaming media servers which combine Unicast and Multicast solutions to both cut down on the bandwidth requirements and provide users most of the on-demand functionality of a pure unicast.[1] IP Multicast, the most prominent of multicast protocols, must be implemented in all nodes between server and client including network routers. As of 2005, most routers on the Internet however do not support IP Multicast, and many firewalls block it.[citation needed] IP Multicast is most practical for organizations that run their own networks, such as universities and corporations. Since they buy their own routers and run their own network links, they can decide if the cost and effort of supporting IP Multicast is justified by the resulting bandwidth savings. Peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols arrange for media to be sent from clients that already have them to clients that do not. This prevents the server and its network connections from becoming a bottleneck. However, it raises technical, performance, quality, business, and legal issues.

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