Geek Trivia

The USB in “USB Cable” Stands For What?

Utility Service Bind
Uniform Sync Bank
Uninterrupted Service Bus
Universal Serial Bus
Which Moon Orbits Closest To Its Host Planet?

Answer: Universal Serial Bus

Although we’ve grown used to the idea that just about every peripheral under the sun can be connected via USB cable to our computers, it wasn’t always so. In 1994, a collective of seven technology companies—Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Nortel, Compaq, DEC, and NEC—sat down to begin work on a cable system that would make it radically easier to link the growing multitudes of peripherals and devices to computers.

The fruit of their labor? The USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable system that encompasses the physical cabling, connectors, and communication protocol. USB rapidly replaced a plethora of connectors commonly found on the backs of computers including serial ports, parallel ports, and PS/2 connectors. By 2008, there were approximately six billion USB ports and interfaces in the global marketplace with around two billion being sold every year.

Image by Andreas Frank/Wikimedia.