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Setting the industry standard

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a set of connectivity specifications developed in collaboration with industry leaders. Originally released in 1995 at just 12 Mbps, USB allows easy, high-speed connections of peripherals to PCs that, once plugged in, configure automatically.

Today, with a run rate of four billion USB products shipped into the growing market every year, USB operates at up to 10 Gbps and is found in over 15 billion PCs, consumer electronics, and mobile devices.

USB is the most successful interconnect in the history of personal computing and has migrated into consumer electronics (CE) and mobile products, creating an ease of use that was previously unheard of.

USB today

Today, SuperSpeed USB 3.1 provides the highest standard in USB performance—up to 20 times faster than High-Speed USB 2.0, with a design data rate of 10 Gbps. In addition, SuperSpeed USB dramatically reduces the power necessary to transfer large amounts of data.

This latest version of USB retains full backward compatibility with previous generations, so existing platforms and devices will plug-and-play equally well with newer platforms and devices that support SuperSpeed USB.

With the introduction of the USB Type-C* cable and connector, user experience is being enhanced with a robust flip-able plug and reversible cable that supports all existing USB specifications and, along with USB Power Delivery, enables delivering power up to 100 watts for charging and powering applications from the smallest mobile devices up to large platforms such as PCs, workstations and display monitors.

Industry collaboration

Intel formed the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) in 1995 as a nonprofit corporation with other industry players to support and accelerate the adoption of USB-compliant peripherals.

Today, the USB-IF has over 750 member companies worldwide, and its board of directors includes representatives from:

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Intel Corporation
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Renesas Electronics Corporation
  • ST-Ericsson

The forum facilitates the development of high-quality compatible USB peripherals and promotes the benefits of USB products that have passed compliance testing.


USB in the future

When the SuperSpeed USB architecture was originally developed, requirements for future performance increases were factored into the solution.

The USB Type-C cable and connector solution is designed to eventually enable higher performance USB and enable a broader range of applications.  Currently, activities are underway to more broadly enable audio and display/video applications based on USB technology.  Additionally, security-related features are being defined to enable enhancements in As far as the future of USB performance, the USB Type-C cable and connector provision additional wires and has signal performance requirements that collectively could accommodate increasing overall USB performance by at least a factor of four … the availability of higher levels of USB performance will ultimately be dictated by market need and the industry coming together to formalize future USB specifications.


For information regarding upcoming events, documentation, products, compliance, and much more, visit the USB Implementers Forum website.

Find out about upcoming events

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