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Some Commonalities of USB Connectors

There are two types of USB connectors: host and peripheral. In the USB standard, there are differences between the two, and the connectors on the cables and devices reflect this. However, all USB connectors have some things in common. Manufacturer AIKE shows you.


Commonalities

Polarization- USB connectors can nominally only be plugged in one way. It may be possible to force the connector to connect incorrectly, but this can lead to damage to the device.


Four contacts - All USB connectors have at least four contacts. These are used for power, ground, and both data lines. USB connectors are designed to carry 5V, up to 500mA of current.


Shielding - USB connectors are shielded, thus providing a metal enclosure that is not part of the circuitry. This is important to keep the signal intact in an environment with a lot of electrical "noise".


Power Connection - It is important that the power pins are connected before the data cable to avoid trying to power the device through the data cable. All USB connectors are designed with this in mind.


Strain Relief - All USB cables have plastic overmolding at the connector to prevent cable strain that could damage the electrical connection.


Connectors

USB-A Connectors

The USB-A female connector is the standard "host" connector type. This can be found on computers, hubs, or any device intended to be plugged into a peripheral device. Extension cables can also be found with a female A connector and a male A connector on the other end.

The female USB-A port on the side of the laptop. The blue connector is USB 3.0 compliant.


usb 3.0 connectors


USB-B Connector

The USB-B female connector is the standard for peripherals. It is bulky but rugged, so it is the preferred way to provide a removable connector for USB connections in applications where size is not an issue. It is typically a through-hole board mount connector for maximum reliability, but panel mount options are also available.


USB-Mini Connector

The USB-Gift connection was the first standard attempt to reduce the size of the USB connector for smaller devices. USB-Mini females are typically used for smaller peripherals (MP3 players, old cell phones, small external hard drives) and are usually surface mount connectors that trade ruggedness for size. the USB-Mini is being phased out and replaced by the USB-Micro connector The USB-Mini is being phased out and replaced by the USB-Micro connector.


USB-Micro Connectors

The USB-Micro is a new member of the USB connector family. Like the USB-Mini, the main concern is size reduction, but the USB-Micro adds a fifth pin for low-speed signaling, allowing it to be used in USB-OTG (mobile) applications where the device may need to operate as a host or peripheral device, as appropriate.


Cables

USB 3.0 micro-B cable

USB 3.0 micro-B cables look similar to USB 2.0 micro-B connectors, but they include additional pins for two differential pairs and a ground.


USB 3.1 C Cables

USB C packages 24 pins into a USB connector. Unlike its predecessors, this version is reversible! The USB C cable is also designed to allow for over 500mA of current to your power hungry devices.


usb-c cables


USB 3.1 Cable A to C

Beware! Depending on the cable, not all pins are available for USB C. Some cables may be limited to the USB 2.0 specification with 4 pins, rather than the full USB 3.1 specification. Depending on the USB port used, you may also be limited by the amount of power that can be supplied to the device.


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