What is USB Type A and USB Type B

There are different types of USB cable, which includes: USB Type A, USB Type B and USB Type C. These types of USB cables refer to the physical design of the plugs(connector) and ports. There are also different versions of USB: USB 1.0 ,USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1.Which refer to the functionality(speed and power delivery) of USB connectors.

Will be discussing just on USB Type A and USB Type B, Follow the link to learn about USB Type C.

USB Type A

Also known as USB Standard-A, USB Type-A is the original design for the USB standard that uses a flat rectangular shape that goes into a host port such as computer.

Usually on a USB cable, the Type A connector, which is the A-male connector, is the end that goes into a host, such as a computer,console…. And on a host, the USB port where the Type A-male is inserted, is called an A-female port. Type-A ports are mostly in host devices, including desktop computers, laptops, game consoles, media players etc.

USB Type A

USB Type B

The Type-B connector is the other end of a standard USB cable that plugs into peripheral device (such as a phones, a printer or an external hard drive). Since all these peripherals have different designs and functions, the Type-B connector and its respective port come in many different designs to accommodate the size of different peripheral device. There are five popular designs for the USB Type-B’s plugs and connectors:

The original standard (Standard-B): This design was first made for USB 1.1 and is also used in USB 2.0. It’s mostly for connecting large peripheral devices, such as printers or scanners to a computer.
Mini-USB (or Mini-B USB): Significantly smaller, the Mini-USB Type-B ports are found in older portable devices, such as digital cameras, smartphones, and older portable drives. This design is becoming obsolete.
Micro-USB (or Micro-B USB): Slightly smaller than Mini-USB, the Micro-USB Type-B port is currently the most popular USB port design for latest smartphones and
tablets .
Micro-USB 3.0 (or Micro-B USB 3.0): This is the widest design and mostly used for USB 3.0 portable drives . Most a times the Type-A end of the cable is blue.

USB Type B
USB Type B

Proprietary types of USB

  • USB 3.0 Powered-B plug and connector: this design has two additional pins to provide extra power to the peripheral device.
  • Micro Type-AB port: that allows the device to as either a host or a peripheral device.
  • Apple Lightning connector which has 30-pin and  uses a proprietary design in the place of the Type-B plug and connector, the Type-A end, however, is still the standard size.

Hope you understand the difference between USB Type A and USB Type B ?
Learn more about USB Type C



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