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The Introduction of VGA Cable

A Video Graphics Array (VGA) connector is a three-row 15-pin DE-15 connector. The 15-pin VGA connector is found on many video cards, computer monitors, and high definition television sets. On laptop computers or other small devices, a mini-VGA port is sometimes used in place of the full-sized VGA connector.

DE-15 has been conventionally referred to ambiguously as D-sub 15, incorrectly as DB-15 and often as HD-15 (High Density, to distinguish it from the older and less flexible DE-9 connector used on old VGA cards, which has the same E shell size but only two rows of pins).

VGA connectors and cables carry analog component RGBHV (red, green, blue, horizontal sync, vertical sync) video signals, and VESA Display Data Channel (VESA DDC) data. In the original version of DE-15 pinout, one pin was keyed by plugging the female connector hole; this prevented non-VGA 15 pin cables from being plugged into a VGA socket. Four pins carried Monitor ID bits which were rarely used; VESA DDC redefined some of these pins and replaced the key pin with +5 V DC power .

The VGA interface is not engineered to be hotpluggable (so that the user can connect or disconnect the output device while the host is running), although in practice this can be done and usually does not cause damage to the hardware or other problems. However, nothing in the design ensures that the ground pins make a connection first and break last, so hotplugging may introduce surges in signal lines which may or may not be adequately protected against. Also, depending on the hardware and software, detecting a monitor being connected might not work properly in all cases.