serial port


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serial port

[′sir·ē·əl ‚pȯrt]
(computer science)

serial port

(hardware, communications)
(Or "com port") A connector on a computer to which you can attach a serial line connected to peripherals which communicate using a serial (bit-stream) protocol. The most common type of serial port is a 25-pin D-type connector carrying EIA-232 signals. Smaller connectors (e.g. 9-pin D-type) carrying a subset of EIA-232 are often used on personal computers. The serial port is usually connected to an integrated circuit called a UART which handles the conversion between serial and parallel data.

In the days before bit-mapped displays, and today on multi-user systems, the serial port was used to connect one or more terminals (teletypewriters or VDUs), printers, modems and other serial peripherals. Two computers connected together via their serial ports, possibly via modems, can communicate using a protocol such as UUCP or CU or SLIP.

serial port

A socket that connects to a serial interface (one bit following another over one line). Serial ports are widely used by sensors for data acquisition, and they were standard on early computers for connecting a modem, mouse and other peripherals. Old Macintoshes used the serial port for printers. Also known as an RS-232 port, serial ports provide very slow speeds and have been superseded by USB on desktop computers. USB-to-serial adapters are available for old peripherals.

DB (D-Sub) Connectors and COM Ports
A serial port on a PC is a male 9-pin connector (DE-9 D-sub). Early PCs had two 9-pin connectors or one 9-pin and one 25-pin (DB-25). On a PC, serial ports are called "COM ports," identified as COM1, COM2, etc. See COM1 and D-sub connectors.

Serial, Parallel and Game
Early PCs were fitted with one or two serial ports, one parallel port and one game port on the motherboard. On the first PCs, the ports were contained on a stand-alone expansion card plugged into the ISA bus. Contrast with parallel port. See serial interface and RS-232.

Faster, But Still Serial
The USB and FireWire (IEEE 1394) interfaces were added to PCs in 1998, offering a quantum jump in transfer rate, plus the ability to daisy chain many peripherals on the same bus. USB and FireWire are also serial interfaces. See USB and FireWire.


In Transition
As USB ports (left) began to proliferate, the serial and parallel ports (right) were included for a while, but eventually gave way entirely to USB.




In Transition
As USB ports (left) began to proliferate, the serial and parallel ports (right) were included for a while, but eventually gave way entirely to USB.
References in periodicals archive ?
PortBox2 supports full RS-232 serial port in hardware
Handwriter Manta comprises two units: a tablet about the size of a mouse pad that attaches to your computer's serial port and a cordless, battery-powered "pen" that performs mouse functions when it's tapped on the tablet and operates like a pen if you use it to write on the tablet; the output of the writing appears on the computer screen.
The remote control system consists of two hardware components: a wired receiver attached to the computer's serial port and a handheld transmitter housing pushbuttons to duplicate certain computer keystrokes.
It derives all of its operating power from the serial port of the PC.
The Perle TruePort utility provides true remote serial ports over an Ethernet LAN.
It offers bus-independent serial port expansion, a platform for hosting and running application specific programs, and the ability to remotely monitor and manage serial devices.
The DeviceMaster PRO 16-Port 10/100 Base-T device server provides bus-independent serial port expansion and a platform for hosting and running custom-developed applications.
The D1-148 is available in two computer interface versions: Serial Port (RS-232) and USB.
Dallas-based DSX Access Systems, Inc., is improving the flexibility of its WinDSX access control system with the DSX-LAN (M) module by utilizing TCP/IP communications as well as dial-up modem and direct serial port connectivity.
Data Examiner enhances the Inductotrace System, providing an interface to Windows 9X/NT via a RS232 serial port from which the device is powered, (no batteries or power connection).

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