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USB On-The-Go

June 14, 2018

USB On-The-Go (USB OTG) is an extension of the USB standard. It maintains the original host/peripheral mode that USBs come in, but adds an extra wrinkle to it that makes it mobile-friendly. OTG adds into the mix dual-role devices, an additional class of devices that can function as either hosts or peripheral devices!

 

 

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USB On-The-Go (USB OTG) is an extension of the USB standard. It maintains the original host/peripheral mode that USBs come in, but adds an extra wrinkle to it that makes it mobile-friendly. OTG adds into the mix dual-role devices, an additional class of devices that can function as either hosts or peripheral devices!

The way it works is that USB OTG adds an extra pin to the micro-USB connectors. If you’re wondering what that means, take a quick look at a USB or Micro USB cable. See those tiny, circular metal rods inside the USB connector?

Those are pins. There are data pins and power pins inside each USB and Micro USB cable: it’s through the pins that a connection is established between devices.

The USB OTG’s extra pin is an “ID pin”, which lets the device you plug it into know that it’s dealing with an OTG device. If you plug in a normal A-to-B USB cable in an OTG compatible socket, the device acts in peripheral mode.

But if you plug in a USB-OTG cable with the ID pin connector at one end, it puts the device connected to that end in host mode. This makes it possible to connect all sorts of accessories and devices to your phone or tablet.