Universal System Bus (USB)
dbmusic gif atoms What is a USB? atoms A small port (similar to an RJ-45) on the back of a PC that lets you plug in multiple devices that will work, supposedly, seamlessly with your computer.
atomsWhat type of devices can be connected? atoms Keyboards, mice, scanners, digital cameras, fingerprint scanners, and other devices that are used to plug into serial or parallel ports, or that require an add-in card.
atoms Does Windows 95 support USB? atoms Only revision B or OSR2 of Windows 95 and later releases such as Windows 98, 98 Special Edition (SE), and Windows 2000.
atoms Do I have to buy a new PC? atoms No, supposedly, there will be USB add-in cards for upgrading PCs.
atoms So, is it easy to connect that new USB device? atoms To upgrade an existing PC, the add-in card will have to be used plus the OSR2 or Revision B will have to be installed.
atoms Will USB devices be easy to setup? atoms The USB software to support your USB device MUST be installed first prior to connecting the device.
atoms Is there a USB hub and what does it do? atoms A USB hub currently should support 4 USB devices by running a cable from your USB port to the hub. They are also working on a USB monitor to free up even more system ports.
atoms What type of hub do you have to get? atoms The hub should be a powered hub to support USB devices without power such as a keyboard or mouse.
atoms Does USB have any competitors? atoms Yes, there is IEEE standard 1394 or commonly known as Firewire or iLink. This interface comes in both four and six pin versions with data speeds up to 400Mbps instead of USB as current speed of 200Mbps.
atoms Is there a faster USB coming out? atoms Yes, USB 2 specification is approved and provides speed up to 480Mbps to surpass the speed of Firewire I at 400Mbps. USB 2.0 is already here, my PC that I purchased in April 2002, had USB 2.0. There are 3 distinct speeds of USB: Low Speed at 1.5Mbit/second, Full-Speed at 12Mbit/second (USB 1.1x), and High-Speed at 480Mbit/second (USB 2.0). USB 2.0 is backward compatible with USB 1.x devices. The connectors, software, cables, and other external product aspects are all the same, except that USB 2.0 provides a user that faster speed.
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Extracted from the USB web site at www.usb.org and Technology Update, Network Fusion, 29 April 2002, page 35. Last updated on 24 September 2002.
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