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Method for a stackable USB connector Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012788D
Publication Date: 2003-May-28
Document File: 7 page(s) / 520K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method for a stackable universal serial bus (USB) connector. Benefits include improved design flexibility.

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Method for a stackable USB connector

Disclosed is a method for a stackable universal serial bus (USB) connector. Benefits include improved design flexibility.


        � � � � � Conventional USB connectors have 2, 3, or 4 ports. They are all different connectors and are not interchangeable. Configurability is done at board design and not at system assembly.

General description

        � � � � � The disclosed method is a stackable USB connector with up to 4 ports that are mechanically interchangeable, individual USB jacks. The number of external USB ports can be determined at the final configuration of the motherboard or system assembly. This approach provides for the easy customization of the number of USB ports through stacking additional jacks. The cost is improved over having one single-port USB jack that can be added to make multi-port connectors.� This method eliminates the requirement for multiple SKUs of components for one, two, three and four port connectors.

        � � � � � The key elements of the method include:

•        � � � � Configurability of a 1- to 4-port USB jack to meet requirements at board assembly using the same USB jack

•        � � � � First base unit option attaches to the motherboard, contains a USB 4-port hub with connection slot for the upper connector contacts

•        � � � � Upper-connection contacts in the first base unit that provide the power and data bus lines to each stacked USB connector and requires only one USB data bus pair (D+/D-) from the USB controller

•        � � � � Optional second base unit that eliminates the hub controller and has up to four USB data bus pairs from the USB controller, providing full bandwidth for each USB jack/port

•        � � � � Combined male and female connectors that pass through the power and data bus pairs to each stacked connector

•        � � � � Mechanical locking mechanism

•        � � � � Switch to configure the connector to the correct data bus pair and the correct port on the hub so that one jack is configured to only one data bus pair in the base unit


        � � � � � The disclosed method provides advantages, including:

•        � � � � Improved design flexibility due to enabling the easy customization of the number of USB ports in a PC system

Detailed description

        � � � � � The disclosed method enables the configuration of a single port at a time. By using a configurable jack, customization options are available to the customer under a single motherboard SKU.

        � � � � � The single USB jack connector plugs into a base unit, which mounts to the motherboard (see Figure 1). The base unit is connected to the motherboard and is the interface block to the remaining stackable USB ports. The base unit may be as simple as r...