USIB Tutorial

USIB stands for Universal Storage Interface BUS, a standard defined and developed by Addonics for connecting various storage devices to computers. All Addonics products that have this USIB interface can be easily identified by a USIB connector (a mini 36-pin female centronic connector) on the back of the storage device. The USIB is the bridge between the storage device and the interface to the computer. All USIB storage devices and Interface cables share the same set of USIB connectors. As a result, a USB 2.0 USIB interface cable can be attached to any USIB equipped storage device and turns it into an USB 2.0 storage device. Likewise, different USIB interface cables can be attached to the same USIB equipped storage device and enable the storage device to attach to computer with different interfaces.

Illustration of Addonics products with USIB connectors  
All the different Addonics USIB interface Cables


The USIB interface and connector offers the following unique benefits:

  • Interface flexibility - The USIB design helps maximize the utilization of storage devices. With the USIB interface, the storage device can be connected to computers via USB 2.0/1.1, Firewire/iLink, SATA/eSATA Instead of having multiple single interface storage devices to connect to different computers that has different interface ports, all you need is one USIB storage device and different USIB interface cables. Addonics currently offers USIB interface cable for USB 2.0/1.1, Firewire/iLink, SATA and CardBus/PCMCIA.
  • Reliable connection - The USIB connector provides a secure latch lock mechanism between the USIB interface cable and the storage device. This feature provides a stronger and more reliable cable connection to the storage device.
  • Upgradeable to new interface standards - USIB protects the investment on the storage device. Since the interface electronic is integrated into the cable instead of the storage device, change in interface standard requires only attaching a new USIB interface cable to the storage device. So the USIB equipped storage device does not become obsolete as easily when new interface standard comes along.
  • Self Power (BUS power) - To enhance portability, the USIB interface has BUS power option designed into the cable. For interface such as USB, Firewire and PCMCIA where there is power defined, Addonics USIB interface cable provides the self power option to operate the low power storage devices such as Flash Reader/Writer, 2.5" and 1.8" hard drive, slim optical devices.
Rear view of a Saturn hard drive enclosure
Example of an Addonics USB 2.0 USIB interface cable


The USIB interface can be implemented practically on any storage device. So far, Addonics has implemented the USIB interface on ATAPI optical drives such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CDRW and DVD+/-RRW drive, IDE hard drive, SATA hard drive and Flash Memory Reader/Writer. Because all USIB equipped storage devices share one common connector and interface standard, the same USIB interface cable can be used across all devices. Again when new interface standards comes along or there is a need to attach a storage device to a computer with a different interface, all you ever need is to attach the correct USIB interface cable. Addonics now provides USIB connector converter kits which convert IDE or SATA storage devices into USIB interface. Click here for more detail.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I have an Addonics Storage device with USIB connector and a USB 2.0 USIB interface cable. Can I attach the SATA USIB interface cable to this device and use it as a SATA storage?

Q. Is there any performance degradation with USIB interface cable?
A. NO.

Q. Why can't my Addonics storage device be powered from the USB port since the BUS power option is included in the USIB interface cable?
A. USB power from different computer varies from manufacturers and models. Different type of storage device also demands different power to operate. In general, Flash memory, Micro Drive and 1.8" hard drive can be powered directly from USB port. Most of 2.5" hard drive (particularly the newer models) can also be BUS powered. Slim optical DVD+/-RRW drive may only be BUS powered by some computers.

Q. Do the Addonics USIB interface cables support hot swap?
A.Yes, all the Addonics USIB interface cables are capable of hot swap. The eSATA and SATA USIB cables must be connected onto a eSATA or SATA controller which supports this feature.

Q. I have seen similar connectors used on external storage devices from other manufacturers, can the Addonics USIB interface cable be used on this device?
A. No. The pin definition on the connector may not be 100% identical to the Addonics USIB definition. It could result in electrical damage to the device or the USIB interface cable.

Q. We are interested to incorporated the Addonics USIB interface cable to our product, where can we obtain more detail of the USIB specification?
A. Please email your request to the Sales Department using the Sales query form.