USB – Universal Serial Bus.

Why do they have the word “Universal” in there?

Because it most certainly isn’t. It’s perhaps better written nUSB and perhaps pronounced “new ess bea” rather than “yoo ess bea”… and we all know that n is short for “not”, as in, Not Universal Serial Bus.

Here’s the thing… for being “universal”, it has a bewildering combination of protocols, data delivery speeds, physical connector types, power usage and delivery. Thankfully (ha!) there are only two cable lengths.

How so?

Let’s see, there USB v1.0, v1.1, v2.0, v3.0, then v3.1

There’s low-speed, full-speed, hi-speed, SuperSpeed, and a version of SuperSpeed that’s available for v3.1.

You have USB-A connectors, which is reasonable, then there’s USB-B connectors along with mini-B and micro-B. Complicating things a bit further, you’ve 3.x B and 3.x micro-B. Let’s not forget USB-C

For power availability, thankfully, v1.0 and v1.1 didn’t provide any, but everything else can provide 500mA, 900mA, 1.5A, and even 3.0A (at 5V in all cases).

I know, I’m just being dramatic. It’s not really 875 different combinations. No, no, of course not. It has been narrowed-down — refined a bit.

But when you go out to buy a nUSB cable, choose carefully.

EDIT: See? I was probably overreacting. I stand corrected.

But I’m still gonna refer to it as nUSB.

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