Ajay Bhatt and the Universal Serial Bus

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Ajay V. Bhatt is an Indian-born American computer architect who pitched the idea of a Universal Serial Bus technology to Intel after being frustrated by his school age daughters difficulty connecting a printer to the family computer! Via Sparkfun

You probably use some form of the technology Ajay Bhatt lead the development of every day; from charging your phone to firing up your latest SparkFun-enabled electronics project, the USB is ubiquitous. However, like most things that are just a part of our tech-driven world today, this wasn’t always the case. Join us on a closer look into USB technology and the man who lead the charge!

History of USB Technology

Before the development of Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology in the mid-1990s, there were several different types of connectors and interfaces used to connect peripherals to computers. Each type of connector had its own communication protocol, making it difficult to connect different devices to a single computer. Consumers had to purchase and install separate expansion cards to add new interfaces to their systems, which was expensive and complicated. This led to the need for a universal interface that could be used for a wide range of devices, which led to the development of USB technology.

The USB was developed by a team of engineers at Intel led by Ajay Bhatt, who says he was inspired to take on the task after having continual issues using a printer. The team wanted to create a single interface that could support a wide range of devices and provide a faster data transfer rate than existing interfaces. They developed the USB as a high-speed serial communication protocol that allowed devices to communicate with each other over a cable. He also wanted the connector to deliver power to the peripheral device, so it wouldn’t have to supply it on its own.

Bhatt and his team began by looking at existing technologies, including serial and parallel ports, but they quickly realized that these solutions were too slow and cumbersome for the modern computing environment. They also examined other emerging technologies, such as FireWire and SCSI, but found that they were too expensive and complicated for most users.

Ultimately, Bhatt and his team settled on a design for the USB that was fast, reliable, and easy to use. They developed a single connector that could be used for many different devices, and they made the USB hot-swappable so that devices could be connected and disconnected from a computer without the need to reboot or shut down the system.

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Check out all of the USB related products in the Adafruit store 🙂

The Intel add below celebrates Ajay Bhatt (please note it features an actor portraying him)

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