USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a cabling standard developed in the mid-1990s in order to decrease the number of peripheral interfaces on the market and create a streamlined standard for future peripherals and interfaces. Development began in 1994 by a consortium composed of Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel. Later revisions to the standard included development work by Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Lucent Technologies.
USB succeeded in replacing the plethora of different cable standards and now USB cables are used for interface peripherals (computer keyboards, mice, and drawing tablets), storage peripherals (external hard drive, disc drives, and flash drives), as well as scanners, printers, and personal electronics such as MP3 players and smart phones.
Between commercial release in 1996 and 2008 over six billion USB-enabled devices were sold. Since 2008 roughly two billion new devices are manufactured per year. The introduction of USB 3.0 in 2010, featuring higher transmission speeds and reduced power consumption, ensured USB will be with us for many more years.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 12/25/12