Why Does USB Only Fit One Way? Why Wasnâ€™t It Designed To Be Reversible?
We are into a digital world where we have to deal with lots of electronic devices and wires. Jabbing at computer ports, when trying to insert USB cables that are almost always the wrong way up, has been very disturbing.
Your trusty USB flash drives are much more versatile than you might realize, packing capabilities that go well beyond just storing and transferring file. Actually, we can do many things with our USB flash drives like running portable apps, use it for troubleshooting purpose and more.
We are into a digital world where we have to deal with lots of electronic devices and wires. A big part of our experience of dealing with these wires and computers also involves a lot of ports, which are, primarily, some kind of USB ports.
Well, it was in 2014 when USB 3.1 Type-C connector was developed, making the USB port reversible. However, before that jabbing at computer ports, when trying to insert USB cables that are almost always the wrong way up, has been very disturbing.
So, what could be the real reason for making USB ports non-flippable in the very first place? Well, the co-inventor of USB, Ajay Bhatt had shared some insights into the early days of USB development. He said â€œWhen we started I donâ€™t think most people, including my colleagues at Intel, realized that USB was something that was neededâ€
For Ajay Bhatt, the biggest problem his team faced was the cost, he said â€œThe biggest deal was the cost. The new standard had to coexist with everything that existed before. So before life got better it had to get a little more complicated because you couldnâ€™t get rid of a serial port and parallel ports outright. You had to add one more port and over time move people from legacy to USBâ€
So, he and his team knew that making it reversible would be beneficial in coming times. However, it wasnâ€™t possible from a cost perspective at that time. Moreover, it was a risky thing to start with and doubling the pins would have meant more circuitry and wires.
â€œIf you have a lot of cost up front for an unproven technology it might not take off. So that was our fear. You have to be really cost conscious when you start outâ€ Bhatt said.
At that time, the technology was something new and unproven in the market. So, there were lots of economic risks involved. You can read out the full article from Design News.
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