If I used a boost converter to increase the voltage of a usb cable to 12v, will that damage the arduino? Is the voltage regulator attached to the usb port? How will the decrease in current affect the arduino's functionality? Will the transfer of information across the usb remain the same with the increase in voltage? Thanks!
Yes, you will probably fry the Arduino.
From the official Arduino Uno schematic:
Notice how the path, leading from the USB connector, essentially, goes directly to the +5V rail [and subsequently, directly to the Uno MCU, and support circuitry]. Thus, as DVDdoug said – ka-blam [paraphrase]!
You have 4 connectors on a USB-device, two are ground and voltage supply, the other two are data, I looked it up and could not find the voltage of those, however, I assume by boosting that to 12V you would leave the data pins alone anyway, so it should not matter; the Arduino of course you would destroy, but since the power supply of an Arduino Uno is rated for 9V to 12V anyway, why if I may ask would you want to “boost USB”? What keeps you from using the 2.1mm power jack? The Arduino Nano also accepts 12V directly, from [wait a moment, looking it up] the Vin-pin, pin 30.
Also, you really should not tweak a USB-cable to do more than what it is specified for, if you want to have only one cord for better cable management, just tape/tie/put two cables together into one cord.
astrophyssles: If I used a boost converter to increase the voltage of a usb cable to 12v, will that damage the arduino? Is the voltage regulator attached to the usb port?
While it's true that a USB 'cable' could be used for whatever we would like to use it for........ it's also true that when a USB cable is used for USB purposes, then the DC voltage of the supply line is meant to be nominally 5 volt.
So ----- a circuit diagram that shows your plan (of what you're thinking of doing) will be useful --- so that everybody can then see whether or not there will be damage to the arduino. The thing right now is ----- there's no diagram that shows exactly what you're attempting to do.