USB standard celebrates 20 years of ubiquitous connectivity

By Shawn Knight ยท 4 replies
Nov 16, 2015
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  1. Ajay Bhatt is a name you’re likely not familiar with despite the fact that the technology he helped invent is used by billions of people on a daily basis.

    Bhatt joined Intel’s chipset architecture team as a senior staff architect in 1990. At that time, computers relied on serial and parallel ports to connect peripherals such as mice, keyboards, printers and joysticks. The ports had a variety of shortcomings including slow transfer rates and the fact that some couldn’t run concurrently.

    What’s more, custom drivers and even expansion cards were often needed to get accessories up and running.

    To address the matter, Bhatt proposed the creation of a new standard – Universal Serial Bus, or USB – that’d use a single “universal” connector to replace serial and parallel ports. The USB 1.0 Release Candidate debuted in November 1995, addressing virtually every deficiency of the legacy ports.

    As Business Insider notes, USB got off to a slow start as technology companies were leery that a new standard would introduce compatibility issues. Intel had few reservations, however, and backed Bhatt’s vision wholeheartedly. It wasn't long before the rest of the industry hopped on the USB bandwagon.

    Much of the eventual success of USB is related to Intel’s decision to make it open and free from licensing fees or royalties. As a result, neither Intel nor Bhatt earned any money from the endeavor. Bhatt, who is now Intel’s chief systems technologist, maintains that he’s been handsomely rewarded by his employer as an engineer.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    USB was a real game changer. Those finicky proprietary ports before before USB were a royal pain in the arse, especially with Win 3.x & 95 which was supposed to be plug & play, it was more a case of plug & pray.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Everyone who uses an electronic device should be thankful this man had the foresight to create a connector that could be used by so many devices for so long. It's just too bad it's not the most robust connector around. Thankfully it's just 4 wires and the shielding if you ever need to replace a plug, the receptacles sadly aren't as easily replaced. I have yet to attempt the same with a USB 3.0 plug, but those seem to be made to last longer, time will tell.
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,304   +648

    Been so long since I had to screw with IRQ's and port settings, x-on/x-off and all that crap,
    I doubt I could do it again. THANK YOU TO USB!
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,691

    I do kinda miss playing with jumpers though.

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