I'm trying to create a device that connects via USB and sits in a users computers USB socket at all times, and I'm unsure of what the general dimension requirements will be.

Ideally, this device should fit in a USB Type-A receptacle in a scenario where the user plugs it into the following devices - and more:

  • USB-hubs
  • Modern computer motherboards and backplates
  • Raspberry Pi and other Single-Board Computers

The device must not physically interfere with typical consumer products like USB memory sticks, USB bluetooth modules, USB coords, etc.

What would the general dimensional requirements be for the device - and is it standardized somewhere?

Thanks in advance!

  • \$\begingroup\$ maybe something the size of a wireless mouse dongle ...... is it standardized somewhere? ..... have you seen any evidence of this? ..... are all flash drives exactly the same size and shape? \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Mar 31 '19 at 4:57
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The size of the cable plug is actually specified in the spec itself. See USB 2.0 spec, chapter 6. \$\endgroup\$
    – Turbo J
    Mar 31 '19 at 8:59

There is no standardization.

If the device is particularly large in dimensions or heavy in weights, then it would probably designed in such a way that having a USB extension cable is compulsory and shipped along with it.

Such as USB HDD External http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2753

It would be difficult and troubling for HDD having USB plug popping out at the top or at the side so that the user need to plug it directly onto the USB socket. It will probably interferes itself with the surrounding, falls because of the weight, or even damages the socket or the plug itself.

Take a look at USB Specification datasheet for each connector dimensions.

Such as USB 2.0 or USB 3.0.

For example in USB 2.0 specification Figure 6-3. USB High-/full-speed Hardwired Cable Assembly at page 89. It is stated that USB type A receptacle length is \$15.7mm\$ and the width \$7.5mm\$.

Although there is a warning stated that

Dimensions are TYPICAL and are for general reference purposes only

So you could technically designed your device with typical maximum length and width of \$15.7mm\$ and \$7.5mm\$ respectively and then guesstimating your device height to suit your needs.

For example again, take a look at Asus USB-AC53 Nano specifications

Asus USB-AC53 Nano

Dimensions : 20 x 14 x 7 ~ mm (WxDxH) (Without Bezel)

The dimensions is roughly similar towards the USB specification with the width of \$20mm\$.

In this case this is the height that I have said before.

If it wasn't enough, I could only suggest that you would need to take a deep research and develop a pattern which needs patience.

Offline ways:
If in the nearest place you are right now there is a "USB Dongle" device such as USB flash disk in your home, then you could inspect its dimension and try to plug any other device to make sure they don't interfere each other.

Online ways:
Take a look at online store or specifications web-pages, what dimensions are "USB Dongle" devices usually sold, read the review about its dimension and observe what each customer would like, also at different demography.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your own resarch seems to be shallow side. There is a full chapter for cables and plugs in the usb 2.0 spec, and it includes dimensions of course. \$\endgroup\$
    – Turbo J
    Mar 31 '19 at 9:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TurboJ he talks about the device and not about the plugs or the cables \$\endgroup\$
    – Unknown123
    Mar 31 '19 at 10:00
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "Device that sits in a USB socket" is usually called a plug. Bigger dongles will block some ports in many cases. \$\endgroup\$
    – Turbo J
    Mar 31 '19 at 10:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TurboJ In my answer context, the plug is the counter part of USB receptacle like female and male USB, I mean the connectors. \$\endgroup\$
    – Unknown123
    Mar 31 '19 at 16:23

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