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USB Buying Guide and Connectors Type Statistics

Apr. 20, 2022

Today, USB is indeed a "universal" standard, and you'd be hard pressed to find an electronic device that doesn't have some sort of USB port. But how do you know which USB cable is right for your device? We hope this buying guide will help you find the cable you need for your next project.


What does USB do?

USB cables replace the various connectors that used to be the standard for computer peripherals: parallel ports, DB9 serial ports, keyboard and mouse ports, joysticks, and MIDI ports. USB simplifies the process of installing and replacing hardware so that all communication follows the serial standard, which carries over twisted-pair data cables and identifies the connected device.
The USB standard defines how devices communicate with the host. USB devices cannot initiate communication, only the host can, so even if you could find the right cable: connecting two devices without a host would not work. In addition, since USB cables carry both power and data, connecting two hosts without an intermediate device could be disastrous.


USB Buying Guide and Connectors Type Statistics

What types of cables are available?

99% of host controllers have a USB-A receptacle, so when you are looking for a USB cable, you are usually looking for a "USB A-to-something" cable. Many times the USB-A end is assumed because that is the connector on most PCs, and the cable will be named after the connector on the other end.

Some cables are also hubs, allowing multiple USB devices to be plugged into the same host port. In theory, you can stack these hubs to any depth up to 127 devices, but in practice you need to consider power limitations. Some cables are extension cords with a plug on one end and a socket on the other. There is also a limit to this due to the round-trip signal time for serial data. It is recommended to keep USB cable lengths under 5 meters.

USB Buying Guide and Connectors Type Statistics


What kind of cable do I need?

The best way to answer this question is to browse through the types of USB cables we sell at AIKE and talk about their respective uses.


USB A to Mini-B

Mini-B is the once great (now deprecated) standard for portable devices. BlackBerry had it, Motorola Q had it, but most importantly, FTDI Basic Breakout still has it.
It's large enough to be easily soldered, yet small enough to fit in some very tight spaces.


USB A to Micro-B

Micro-B is the newest and smallest type of USB connector. Almost every new phone uses a Micro-B connector, so you may have already laid down one or two of these cables.


USB A to B

USB A to B cables are very common in printers and other large peripherals. They are also the standard programming connector for the Arduino UNO. In addition to the Arduino UNO, USB B is used on many programmers and development boards.


USB Extension Cables

USB devices are often intended to be "close to the computer", but some webcams, WiFi adapters, or XBee Explorers are quite far away. In this case, the USB extension cable provides an additional 6-10 feet of freedom.


USB Buying Guide and Connectors Type Statistics



AIKE is a professional manufacturer of precision connectors and cables for computers, communications. Products are widely used in: computer motherboards, industrial control boards, monitors, graphics CARDS, LCD TVS, projectors, digital cameras, cars, pads, mobile phones, electronic toys... We offer customers with more precise and reliable connection. Please contact us if you need to buy them.



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