Universal Serial Bus or USB 2.0 is the second generation hardware serial interface standard that was widely used for connecting peripherals to PC, laptops and other devices. It is often known as high-speed USB that was introduced in the industry in 2000 and still it is being used by many devices.
Even though it is an older version, still all USB cables and devices with USB support USB 2.0. When the 1st generation USB cable was introduced it brought a revolution in the market but it was USB 2.0 that became the go-to choice for everyone.
It serves as an improved version of 1st generation USB and has the capacity to handle transfer speed of 480 Mbps. Due to the high speed, it became a dominant external interface in the twentieth century and every USB Cable manufacturer and factory started using it.
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Primary Devices Utilizing USB 2.0
USB 2.0 data ports were used to connect a different type of peripheral devices and the major varieties are:
- Network Adapters.
- Flash Drives.
- Memory Sticks.
- External Hard Discs.
- Digital Cameras.
- Video Game Consoles.
- Mobile Devices.
Attributes That Define USB 2.0
USB 2.0 is a highly demanded protocol that made it a widely popular choice among users and USB 2.0 Cable manufacturers. It has numerous attributes that have not only benefited many users but also manufacturers.
The adoption of USB 2.0 for various peripherals and computers helped manufacturers to curb down the use of other cables. In comparison to others, USB 2.0 is quite inexpensive to manufacture. It also made a huge impact in lowering the volumes of electronic waste and bringing convenience for users.
It has a plug ‘n play which made things easy for users to connect various types of peripherals. To unplug and plug in a device, you won’t have to switch off the computer and this feature made it more popular among users.
Another attribute that defines USB 2.0 is that it also serves as a power supply for hooking certain devices like small speakers, battery chargers, portable HDD etc. It can deliver a power of 500 mA which is more than sufficient for usage.
All USB 2.0 cables have a maximum length of 5metres which is the approved length and beyond this length, the signal takes too long to travel to the connected device.
It can support up to 127 devices which wasn’t possible with old generation serial ports.
USB 2.0 standard comes with a black or white color code which helps users to identify them easily.
Data Transfer Rate of USB 2.0
When USB 2.0 wasn’t introduced, users used to get a maximum data transfer rate of 12Mbps with USB 1.1 and 1.5Mbps with USB 1.0. However when USB 2.0 came into existence, it changed the whole scenario as it was able to achieve a high-speed data transfer rate of 480Mbps.
Although this high speed data transfer rate was not integrated for all devices, they were mostly used for high-end gaming devices, external hard drives, memory sticks etc. USB 2.0 has three data transfer rates and it is mainly due to the backward compatibility with old USB 1.0 and USB 1.1 ports.
It offered a low speed data transfer rate of 1.5Mbps and it was mostly integrated for keyboards and mice. However, to convey data with USB 1.1 ports, it offered a high speed transfer rate of 12Mbps.
While the USB 2.0 was gaining popularity during its tenu, many improvements were introduced to increase transfer rate and efficiency and the introduction of HSIC is one of the examples. HSIC or high speed inter chip USB 2.0 was introduced in 2007 as a new standard and it used chip to chip configuration to enhance the data transfer rate efficiency.
The high speed transfer rate of USB 2.0 helped many devices like external hard disks and memory sticks to overcome transfer speed bottlenecks and made them more powerful.
Common USB 2.0 Connectors
USB 2.0 had many connectors that made it suitable for various devices. Let’s check all those connectors;
USB 2.0 Type A
This USB standard is a common connector type that serves as a bridge between computers and various controllers. It gets a standard rectangular shape where the socket provides a downstream connection and the host supplies the required 5V power. This is the reason most of the USB 2.0 cables get at least one USB Type A in one of their plugs.
USB 2.0 Type B
It is another popular connector type that was mainly designed for establishing connection between two peripheral devics. Unlike others, it has a square sized form factor with a notch on the top and you will mostly see these connector types on large peripherals like printers and upstream hubs. Due to its compatibility with new and old USB standards, it is still being used in some of the large peripherals.
USB 2.0 Mini B
USB Mini B is a connector with a small form factor and gets a 5 pin configuration. It was introduced in the industry for connecting USB peripheral devices and older smartphones. The interesting thing about this connector is that it also supports OTG. Although USB 2.0 Mini B connectors are fading away from the industry, still some cameras use this connector.
USB 2.0 Micro B
When modern peripherals and smartphones started getting slim form factor, it made the arrival of Micro B connectors. It has the same attributes as Mini USB B where it connects computers with various devices and also assists smartphones to connect to OTG. Devices like cameras even utilize it for charging purpose; thus making it a multipurpose connector.
USB 2.0 Type C
USB 2.0 Type C is the newest connector type that was developed for connecting devices like smartphone, tablet, laptop etc with thin form factor. It was introduced in the industry in 2014 and soon it became an obvious choice for many due to its 2.5GB data transfer rate. It is one of those connectors that only supports charging and data transfer but also comes useful for video and network.
Do Devices Still Utilise USB 2.0?
Even though USB 4.0 and USB 3.0 have become an obvious choice for most manufacturers, still there are many devices and computer motherboards that utilize USB 2.0. Its compatibility with USB 3.0 cables and ports has kept it a convenient choice for many.
Since mice and keyboards doesn’t require super fast transfer rate, many of manfuacturers still uses USB 2.0 in their products. USB 3.0 and USB 4.0 tend to be more expensive and due to this you will find them on budget products.