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Original USB connector was non-reversible due to cost

Posted on Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 10:15:54 CEST by

USB logo
In a recent interview, USB co-inventor Ajay Bhatt reveals cost concerns are the reason why the original USB plug did not have a reversible design. One of the goals of USB was to create a new standard that could replace the plethora of serial and parallel connectors that was in use at the time and reversibility was seen as a hindrance because it would double the cost of the connector:
“In hindsight, based on all the experiences that we all had, of course it was not as easy as it should be,” explains Bhatt to NPR, confirming that “the biggest annoyance is [the lack of] reversibility.” But, he says, there was good reason for doing things that way: Intel and its partners had to convince famously cost-sensitive PC manufacturers to embrace their standard, and making a reversible or round plug would have doubled the cost of the USB connector.

“A USB that could plug in correctly both ways would have required double the wires and circuits, which would have then doubled the cost.”



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