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Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a high speed serial bus used to interface computer and other devices. USB allows plug and play connections (that is devices can be connected and disconnected with minimal configuration on the part of the user, and without the need to restart the host computer) between devices such as modems, digital cameras, hard drives, keyboards and mice. The standard is supported by a number of large computer manufacturers including Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft and NEC.
The current USB Standard is 2.0 which has a maximum data transmission rate of 480Mbps although many older computer only support the older USB 1.1 standard. Several types of connectors are available for USB connections and the usage varies on the devices being connected.
USB Mass Storage "Flash Drives" are small, removable, rewritable and have nearly completely replaced floppy disks. As the cost of memory decreases the size of the drives increases. Such drives have usage in some MP3 Players, such as the iPod nano, or in computer systems administration or repair in addition to data storage and transfer.


USB Implementers Forum [1]