# How do adapters work? (SATA to USB, or VGA to HDMI)

#### emh01

Does adapters (exp: SATA to USB or VGA to hdmi) work with special softwares for conversion or are they only electronic circuits which gets and directs input signals to correct output pins?

Related Computing and Technology News on Phys.org

#### Asymptotic

Answering to match the specificity of your question, often elements of both.

#### sysprog

Does adapters (exp: SATA to USB or VGA to hdmi) work with special softwares for conversion or are they only electronic circuits which gets and directs input signals to correct output pins?
In addition to what @Asymptotic said: some adapters are simple rewirings, and others are protocol converters that require intermediary processing. An example of the former is USB 2.0 $\leftrightarrow$ Cat 5 Ethernet cable; an example of the latter is SATA $\leftrightarrow$ USB 3.0.

Last edited:

#### MikeeMiracle

Some of hese only workone way also. You can get USB to SATA interfaces but it doesn't work the other way around. Likewise HDMI is going to be a digital output, VGA is analogue. You can convert a HDMI signal to an analogue one but you cannot get a VGA to HMDI convertor.

#### Rive

you cannot get a VGA to HMDI convertor.
I think you can... And while SATA to general USB won't be found, I wouldn't be suprised to find some pendrive-on-sata type frankenboard, since it is already not a problem to fit some SD-cards into a raid hanging on SATA

#### sysprog

Some of hese only workone way also. You can get USB to SATA interfaces but it doesn't work the other way around. Likewise HDMI is going to be a digital output, VGA is analogue. You can convert a HDMI signal to an analogue one but you cannot get a VGA to HMDI convertor.
USB and SATA are both bidirectional. You can get interfaces to do whatever you want with either of their protocols. Single-chip analog to digital converters, and digital to analog converters, are common components. VGA to HDMI convertors are easily available.

#### emh01

In addition to what @Asymptotic said: some adapters are simple rewirings, and others are protocol converters that require intermediary processing. An example of the former is USB 2.0 $\leftrightarrow$ Cat 5 Ethernet cable; an example of the latter is SATA $\leftrightarrow$ USB 3.0.

View attachment 243269
in latter example does it use embeded software or only does this with special circuits?

#### sysprog

in latter example does it use embeded software or only does this with special circuits?
I assume you're referring to the SATA $\leftrightarrow$ USB 3.0 interface. Typically, none of that would be done at the software level, but some of it might be done as one-time ROM firmware. I don't know the specifics of any particular such device, but you can see from the following image that it does power handling and 'mapping' one set of pins to another, with some small IC chips to manage the bidirectional data flow with conversion, synchronization, and throughput assurance.

"How do adapters work? (SATA to USB, or VGA to HDMI)"

### Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving