The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a new standard for connecting PCs to peripheral devices such as printers, monitors and modems. USB offers several advantages over conventional serial and parallel connections, including higher bandwidth (up to 12 Mbits/s) and the ability to provide power to the peripheral device.
USB is ideal for data acquisition applications. Since USB connections supply power, only one cable is required to link the data acquisition device to the PC, which most likely has at least one USB port. In addition, the USB's high-speed data transfer (from the data acquisition device to the PC) allows for a real-time display of acquired data, while eliminating the need for expensive memory in the acquisition device.
With the backing of Intel, Microsoft, and hundreds of other computer-related companies, USB is quickly becoming a new universal standard.