COMPUTER PORTS

A Computer Port is an interface or a point of connection between the computer and its peripheral devices. Some of the common peripherals are mouse, keyboard, monitor or display unit, printer, speaker, flash drive etc.


The main function of a computer port is to act as a point of attachment, where the cable from the peripheral can be plugged in and allows data to flow from and to the device.



A computer port is also called as a Communication Port as it is responsible for communication between the computer and its peripheral device. Generally, the female end of the connector is referred to as a port and it usually sits on the motherboard.


In Computers, communication ports can be divided into two types based on the type or protocol used for communication. They are Serial Ports and Parallel Ports.


A serial port is an interface through which peripherals can be connected using a serial protocol which involves the transmission of data one bit at a time over a single communication line. The most common type of serial port is a D-Subminiature or a D-sub connector that carry RS-232 signals.


A parallel port, on the other hand, is an interface through which the communication between a computer and its peripheral device is in a parallel manner i.e. data is transferred in or out in parallel using more than one communication line or wire. Printer port is an example of parallel port.


The article gives a brief introduction to different types of ports along with their applications.


PS/2

PS/2 connector is developed by IBM for connecting mouse and keyboard. It was introduced with IBM’s Personal Systems/2 series of computers and hence the name PS/2 connector. PS/2 connectors are color coded as purple for keyboard and green for mouse.


PS/2 is a 6-pin DIN connector. The pin out diagram of a PS/2 female connector is shown below.



Even though the pinout of both mouse and keyboard PS/2 ports are same, computers do not recognize the devise when connected to wrong port.

PS/2 port is now considered a legacy port as USB port has superseded it and very few of the modern motherboards include it as a legacy port.


Serial Port

Even though the communication in PS/2 and USB is serial, technically, the term Serial Port is used to refer the interface that is compliant to RS-232 standard. There are two types of serial ports that are commonly found on a computer: DB-25 and DE-9.

1. DB-25

DB-25 is a variant of D-sub connector and is the original port for RS-232 serial communication.

They were developed as the main port for serial connections using RS-232 protocol but most of the