Universal Serial Bus: What Is It?

Most computers today are shipped with at least two USB ports, but many no longer provide RS-232 serial ports. If you are replacing an older PC that has been connected to a peripheral with RS-232, what can you do? B&B Electronics’ USB to Serial Converters provide a low-cost and easy to implement solution. Some incorporate additional features such as surge protection and optical isolation. In situations where your PC doesn’t have enough USB ports, our multi-port hubs are the answer. We also have USB Boosters and Extenders to increase cable length beyond the typical 5 meters specified for USB. Whatever your application we can supply you with the appropriate product, technical information and support. Give us a call, or email us today.

Quick Facts

Universal Serial Bus is a serial protocol and physical layer link. Data is transmitted differentially on one pair of wires, providing relatively good noise immunity. Another pair carries DC power to downstream devices, allowing many low power devices to be bus powered. USB supports a high data rate and ‘hot swap’ connection for PCs, providing an easy connection to a wide variety of multimedia and network USB devices.

Typical Data rates: 12 Mbps
Max Distance: 5 meters
Cabling Requirements: Standardized peripheral cable
Connectors: Type A upstream, Type B downstream


  • Plug and Play connectivity
  • Hot swapping
  • High data rates
  • Noise immunity
  • Available on most new PCs


  • 5 meters maximum distance
  • Not isolated
  • Not always available on industrial/commercial devices