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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Universal Serial Bus
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hardware, standard (USB) An external peripheral interface
standard for communication between a computer and external
peripherals over an inexpensive cable using biserial
USB is intended to replace existing serial ports, parallelports, keyboard, and monitor connectors and be used with
keyboards, mice, monitors, printers, and possibly some
low-speed scanners and removable hard drives. For faster
devices existing IDE, SCSI, or emerging FC-AL or
FireWire interfaces can be used.
USB works at 12 Mbps with specific consideration for low cost
peripherals. It supports up to 127 devices and both
isochronous and asynchronous data transfers. Cables can
be up to five metres long and it includes built-in power
distribution for low power devices. It supports daisychaining through a tiered star multidrop topology. A USB
cable has a rectangular "Type A" plug at the computer end and
a square "Type B" plug at the peripheral end.