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USB

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. It is a bus standard that was originally specified in 1995. The major goal of USB is to define an external expansion bus that makes adding peripherals to a PC as easy as hooking up a telephone to a wall jack. Virtually all new PCs come with one or more USB ports. In fact, USB has become a key enabler of the Easy PC Initiative, an industry initiative led by Intel and Microsoft to make PCs easier to use. This effort sprung from the recognition that users need simpler, easier-to-use PCs that don't sacrifice connectivity or expandability. USB is one of the key technologies used to provide this. Today, version 1.1 of the USB standard is enjoying tremendous success in the marketplace, with most peripheral vendors around the globe developing products to this specification. At the time of going to press, a core team from Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, NEC, and Philips were leading the development of version 2.0 of the USB specification. From a user's perspective, USB 2.0 is just like USB 1.1, but with much higher bandwidth. Analysis that has been done by the electrical team suggests that at least 240 Mbps is easily achievable on USB 2.0, with higher speeds currently under investigation. It will look the same and behave the same, but with a larger choice of more interesting, higher-performance devices available. Also, all of the USB peripherals the user has already purchased will work in a USB 2.0-capable system.

For a detailed description of USB 1.1 and USB 2.0, we suggest you download the specification documents from the following URL: http://www.usb.org/developers/docs.html.


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