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Computer Connectors

Learning Intentions

  • Understand the term connector

  • Be able to identify some common connectors on computers

Success Criteria

  • I can explain what a physical connector is on a computer
  • I can identify several physical connector on a computer system

What is a port/interface?

  • This lesson will look at physical connectors found on computers

  • You will have interacted with these interfaces such as USB ports, PS/2 ports, HDMI ports and much more, probably without realising. 

  • An awareness of these different connectors allows you to be more knowledgable about picking the right connectors.

What is a port/interface?

  • This lesson will look at physical connectors found on computers

  • You will have interacted with these interfaces such as USB ports, PS/2 ports, HDMI ports and much more, probably without realising. 

  • An awareness of these different connectors allows you to be more knowledgable about picking the right connectors.

USB

  • USB or Universal Serial Bus is by far the most commonly used connector out there, but did you know that there are actually 19 different types of USB connectors?!

  • USB is used for all sorts of devices such as printers, scanners, mice, keyboards, controllers and so much more.

  • It is the standard connector for most things today, and most desktop PCs have about 12 connectors.

HDMI

  • HDMI or High-Definition Multimedia Interface is the most common video connector, but it's not the best video connector

  • HDMI can carry audio and video over a small connector.

  • HDMI 2.1 is capable of carrying 4K video at 120Hz (frames per second).

  • HDMI is commonplace, with most TVs having 3 or 4 connectors, and PCs having at least one.

DisplayPort

  • DisplayPort or DP is the best video connector in terms of features and bandwidth. 

  • Like HDMI, DisplayPort can carry audio and video over a small connector.

  • DisplayPort's connector is similar to the HDMI connector, but offers things like a locking mechanism

  • DisplayPort rarely appears on TVs and is limited to computer monitors.

DisplayPort

  • DisplayPort features twice the bandwidth that HDMI features, giving it access to the latest features first. 

  • HDMI is always 'one resolution' behind DisplayPort, for example when HDMI got 4K support, DisplayPort had 8K support.

USB-C

  • USB-C or USB Type C is a different connector altogether. 

  • Whilst some USB-C ports on a computer are simply USB ports with a different connector, some, like those found on the Nintendo Switch, feature Alt modes.

  • These alt modes allow the connector to use the DisplayPort standard to carry audio and video, can transfer up to 100 Watts of power to charge a device and can support Thunderbolt data transfer.

Thunderbolt

  • Thunderbolt is a standard that can be added to a USB-C connector.

  • Thunderbolt can be added to a USB-C cable to increase bandwidth from 20Gbps to 40Gbps with Thunderbolt devices.

  • It is the fastest connector available and is used for really high-end devices such as fast external storage or music devices that require the extra bandwidth.

RS232

  • RS232 or Recommended Standard 232, often known simply as the serial port, was first developed in the 1960s for serial communication. It is one of the oldest connectors on PCs today.

  • It is capable of very slow transfer speeds but because of it's simplicity and easy to program nature, it remains a popular connector.

RS232

  • When RS232 first came out in the 1960s, it's main uses were for commercial and industrial hardware, to make it easy to program them.

  • Eventually it became commonplace with many devices such as modems, phones, and even mice, using it.

  • Many TVs today still have a serial port to allow servicing on them.

ps/2

  • PS/2 is again a very old connector that refuses to disappear. 

  • PS/2 is a serial connector that is used entirely for mice and keyboards (and older webcams).

  • PS/2 is still found on some new computers because even though most keyboards and mice are USB, PS/2 communicates directly with the CPU and therefore it is better suited to some applications.

Create a slide deck for each common connector we've spoken about in this lesson. Include:

 

  1. The purpose or use of the connector
  2. When it was invented
  3. The applications of the connector (video, audio or data)
  4. The bandwidth of the connector
  5. Some common devices
  6. A picture of the connector

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Computers Connectors
© 2020 - 2024 J Balfour
21:09 | 14-04-2024
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