USB or Universal Serial Bus is the most popular connector to date to connect various peripheral devices with computer systems. This Industry Standard developed in the mid-90s is used for both data transfer and power supply. Used worldwide for connecting digital cameras, audio-video devices, printers, scanners, smartphones and other consumer electronics, USB has replaced the conventional means of connectivity that include parallel ports, serial connectors, DB9 connectors, PS2 or MIDI ports. Almost all the computers and electronic devices are pre-equipped with one or other type of USB connector. The peripheral devices also come with USB cables for connectivity.
Types of USB connectors or cables
Type-A USB connector
This is a standard USB connector with a rectangular cross-section. This is the most common of the USB types and found on computers and laptops for mouse, keyboard or other peripheral devices. The connector bus carries both electric power and data.
Type-A USB connectors are found in all the USB versions viz. USB 1.x, USB 2.x, and USB 3.x. Apart from the USB connectors found as receptacles on devices, these are also found on USB cables as plugs. Type A USB connectors are compatible to mate with any USB version.
Type-B USB connector
These are also standard USB connector types with a square shape and slightly oblique from upper exteriors. Like Type A, the connectors of Type B(1.x and 2.x) are compatible with USB 1.x, 2.x versions. The Type B USB 3.x version is only compatible to use to USB 3.0 version receptacles and there is no backward compatibility. These USB connectors are found on USB cables as plugs and used to connect devices like printers and scanners to type A receptacle connector on computers.
Pin-Out voltage of USB Type-A and Type B connectors
Mini USB Connectors
In the year 2000, the size of standard USB connectors was further minimized and called mini-USB connectors. These USB connectors find their usage in transferring data to and from digital cameras and mobile phones. The mini USB connectors are found in both Type-A and Type-B connectors and the size of both these USB types is 3mm x 7mm.
Micro USB Connectors
Introduced in 2007, Micro connectors are used for latest and thinner devices that include smartphones and digital cameras. Found in both Type-A and Type-B types, the size of micro USB plugs is 1.8mm x 6.85mm.
Pin-out Voltage of Micro/Mini USB Connectors
Type-C USB connector
Latest of all the USB types, Type C, based on USB 3.1 specifications, was introduced in 2014 and is going to replace typeA or TypeB connectors with its standardization. It is a reversible connector that can connect to both host device and a peripheral device. The size of type C connector is 8.4mm by 2.6mm, which is larger than micro/mini ports but smaller than standard USB ports. With type C USB connector, you can expect higher data transfer rates up to 10Gbps.
Although charging is possible with type C ports, you can charge only low-power devices like smartphones or tablets. So you will not be able to charge laptops or monitors except Chromebook.
Pinout diagram of USB Type C Connector
From Receptacle view
From Plug view
I would like you to share your experience on using USB Type C connector. Have you used Type C connector? Did you find it fast and more versatile to use in comparison to other types of USB connectors? You can share your thoughts in the comments section.