I recently came across the term USB Host Device while reading how someone used a micro controller as a USB Host device.I haven't been able to understand the meaning of this term.

  • Could some one please tell me what it is in the simplest words possible?


  • how is it different from a USB peripheral device?

1 Answer 1


A host device is a computing device into which you can plug a peripheral.

Some micros can be either a host or a peripheral. Using the mouse as an example: If your micro is emulating a mouse and plugged into a computer, it is a peripheral. If your micro is accepting input from a mouse (and presumably acting on it in some way), then your micro is a host device, capable of hosting a plugged in peripheral.

Hopefully this makes sense.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The mouse is a bad example; no mouse is a USB host. \$\endgroup\$
    – radagast
    Aug 15, 2013 at 17:55
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ The mouse's relationship to the microcontroller was the example. If the micro IS the mouse, it is a peripheral. If the micro is CONNECTED to a mouse, it is a host \$\endgroup\$
    – Tevo D
    Aug 15, 2013 at 18:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And yes, I'm sure I worded it poorly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tevo D
    Aug 15, 2013 at 18:04

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