Facts About Standard Type A Male to mini-B Male USB Cables

Universal serial bus (USB) was invented in the 1990s to be a universal standard in the computing world for connecting devices for purposes like networking, external storage, and printing. Since that time, electronic devices have increased in capabilities while decreasing in size, which has prompted USB cables to be more flexible in design to maintain its universality. That flexibility includes hybrid cables like the ones that have a micro-A connector on one end and a mini-B connector on the other.

What are the different types of USB cables available?

Three types of USB connectors have been introduced, and there are also different sizes that correspond to each. Type A and Type B were the first two designs to be developed and come in standard, mini, and micro sizes. Type C was introduced to the market in 2011 and only comes in one size. Here are some specifications for each type:

  • Type A: It has a rectangular shape that is evident in all three sizes and comes with a four-pin configuration in version 1.0 and 2.0 and a nine-pin configuration in version 3.0 and later. These can transfer data at speeds ranging from 187KB/s to 2.5GB/s. Standard-size female ports can be commonly found on laptops, network hubs, and media systems.
  • Type B: This is rectangular in shape in its micro and mini sizes and cube-shaped in its larger size. Its reliability makes this type ideal for industrial implementation, and it has identical pin configuration and transfer speeds as Type A.
  • Type C: It has a small, rectangular design similar to the Type B micro and has the ability to transfer power in both directions, giving more versatility for charging. The Type C has plug reversibility, meaning plugs have no top or bottom, and it utilizes version 3.0 data speeds and has a 24-pin set.
What are male and female USB connectors?

The male (or peripheral) USB jack is the piece that plugs into the female. Its pins are exposed, it has a clip to lock it in place, and it is almost never found connected to a device. Instead, it is connected to the cable. The female (or host) looks like a socket, has recessed pins, and is almost always connected to devices like computers, smartphones, and various media devices. Although rare, female pieces on the ends of cables are not unheard of and can be useful in the role of adapter or converter.

What is the mini-B male connector commonly used for?

The male mini-B piece is an upstream connection device commonly used for peripheral equipment like digital cameras, printers, smartphones, and other similar devices. It is common to see a USB cable with the mini B on one end and the standard A on the other end as a way of plugging a piece of peripheral technology into a laptop or other host device where data transfer and possibly an Internet connection can be established.