PS/2 Connector


A PS/2 connector is a type of connection interface used for connecting keyboards and mice to a computer. Named after IBM’s Personal System/2 series, it’s a small, round plug that consists of six pins. Despite being largely replaced by USB connectors in modern devices, some people still prefer PS/2 connectors due to their ability to handle key rollover.


The phonetics of the keyword “PS/2 Connector” is: P-S-Two Connector

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways about PS/2 Connector:

  1. The PS/2 connector is a type of physical connection interface that is generally used for connecting keyboards and mice to a computer. It was introduced by IBM in their Personal System/2 computers in the late 1980s.
  2. Compared to other connection types, like USB, the PS/2 connector uses less computational resources and thus can offer some advantages in certain scenarios such as gaming, where it can potentially reduce input lag. However, despite this benefit, it is less common in modern computer designs, replaced largely by USB.
  3. PS/2 connectors are color coded; the keyboard port is usually purple, while the mouse port is commonly green. They are round, six-pin connectors, and are generally not hot-swappable, meaning they require the computer to be restarted if connected or disconnected.


The PS/2 connector is an important aspect of technology primarily due to its historical role in the evolution of computer interfaces. Named after IBM’s Personal System/2 series, introduced in 1987, PS/2 connectors became the standard method for connecting keyboards and mice to PCs for more than two decades. They served an essential role in data input operations, ensuring seamless communication between the user and the machine thanks to their unique six-pin Mini-DIN design. In addition to being robust and reliable, PS/2 connectors also allowed for key rollover, meaning they could handle multiple keys being pressed at once, which is a feature still preferred by some gaming and programming enthusiasts. Despite being largely replaced by USB ports in modern devices, understanding PS/2 connectors is key to understanding the history and evolution of computer technology.


The PS/2 Connector, also known as Personal System/2 Connector, is a type of interface that is used for connecting input devices like keyboards and mice to a computer. It was introduced by IBM in 1987, aiming to replace the older serial port connectors that were previously used for the same purpose. Unlike the USB connectors that later became ubiquitous, these connectors used a round-shaped design, are separated for keyboards (usually purple in color) and mice (usually green-colored), which meant that a device could only connect to its corresponding port.The main purpose of PS/2 connectors is transmitting the signal by using interrupts, a mechanism by which devices can signal a central processing unit (CPU) for attention without having to wait for the CPU to finish its current operations. This is particularly crucial for input devices like keyboards and mice where instant responsiveness is important. Despite the rise of USB interfaces, which offer greater flexibility and speed, PS/2 connectors are still favored by some due to their “n-key rollover” feature. This means that unlike USB keyboards, which are usually limited to recognizing only a few keys pressed at the same time, a PS/2 keyboard can deal with an unlimited number of simultaneous key presses.


1. Computer Keyboards: Many older computers and even some modern, specialized systems utilize the PS/2 port to connect a wired keyboard. This small, round connector is designed to transmit the data from your keystrokes into the computer for it to interpret and act upon.2. Computer Mice: Similar to keyboards, many wired mice also used to use the PS/2 connector. While modern mice are more commonly found with a USB connection, PS/2 ports were used extensively before widespread adoption of USB.3. KVM Switches: Often used in data centers and corporate environments, a Keyboard, Video, Mouse (KVM) switch allows a single user to control multiple computers from one keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Some of these switches have PS/2 connectors, making it possible to control computers that still use the PS/2 interface.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q1: What is a PS/2 Connector?A: A PS/2 connector is a type of interface for connecting computers and their peripherals. It was originally developed by International Business Machines (IBM) and is typically used for keyboards and mice.Q2: How does a PS/2 Connector look like?A: A PS/2 connector is typically round and contains 6 pins. They will often be color-coded, with purple for keyboards and green for mice.Q3: Is the PS/2 Connector still in use today?A: PS/2 connectors have mostly been replaced by USB ports but some computers still feature PS/2 ports to cater to older peripherals, or for use in specific situations where the benefits of PS/2 over USB can be utilized.Q4: Are there any advantages to using a PS/2 Connector over USB?A: Yes, one notable advantage of a PS/2 connection is that it does not consume computer resources while idle. It also supports key rollover, allowing multiple keys to be pressed at the same time. Q5: Can I use a PS/2 keyboard or mouse on a computer with only USB ports? A: Yes, PS/2 to USB adapters are available that allow you to connect a PS/2 peripheral to a USB port. However, not all PS/2 devices are compatible with these adapters.Q6: Is there a difference between the mouse and keyboard PS/2 connectors?A: While they may look the same, the connectors for mice and keyboards are coded differently, with distinct commands from the computer.Q7: Can a PS/2 connector be hot-swapped?A: No, you should always power off the system before connecting or disconnecting a PS/2 connector, as plugging or unplugging a PS/2 device can lead to system damage.Q8: Can PS/2 and USB inputs be used at the same time?A: Yes, it’s possible to use both a PS/2 and USB input device at the same time on most systems. However, this may vary depending on the specific computer and configuration.

Related Tech Terms

  • Personal Computer
  • Peripheral device
  • Keyboard/Mouse Interface
  • IBM Personal System/2
  • Data transfer protocol

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