STEM History:

Ajay Bhatt  


Indian-born American Computer Architect

Birth/Death Dates

September 6, 1957-


Ajay Bhatt is responsible for one of the most iconic pieces of computer technology: the Universal Series Bus (USB) flash drive. He joined Intel in 1990 and developed this technology there as a senior staff architect. The USB device has a distinct advantage over optic discs: it is smaller, more durable, rewritable, and easy to transport.

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical), Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, 1980
  • Master’s degree, the City College of New York

Struggles this Innovator Overcame

Bhatt didn’t make money from his team’s invention of USB technology even though billions of USBs have been sold. He believes his contribution to the computer industry compensates for this. In a 2015 interview with Insider, Bhatt said, I don’t do these things for money, I did this to bring about change, and it’s not very often that somebody gets a chance to bring about this big a change.”

Problems this Innovator Solved

In the early 1990s, connecting a device like a keyboard, mouse, or printer to a computer required a time-consuming and laborious installation process. Bhatt saw the need to simplify this process. He devised the idea that became USB technology when his daughter encountered difficulty connecting a home printer to a computer.

How this inventor changed the world (or at least their corner of it)

In 1994, Bhatt and his team at Intel created Universal Series Bus (USB) technology, allowing users to connect different components to computers more easily. In 1995, Intel Corporation produced the first integrated circuits supporting USB. The USB hub serves as a “translator” for various devices, making it easier for computers to understand different commands. Intel made the technology open and royalty-free, and Bhatt was comfortable with that decision, believing they had every right to do so.

When Bhatt first visualized the technology that would allow devices to connect to computers more easily, many computer companies were skeptical about breaking the existing compatibility functions of computers. However, his employer, Intel, backed him and helped him develop his idea. This invention changed the entire computer industry.

Lasting changes from this inventor’s work or how they trailblazed

The USB was revolutionary for its time and is now known as the standard for connecting different devices and sharing information between those devices.