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 on a computer used to connect a modem, data acquisition terminal or other device via a serial interface (one data bit following the other). Serial ports provide very slow speeds and have been superseded by USB and other faster interfaces for peripheral connections to desktop computers. Although still widely used in data acquisition, the serial port is no longer found on new computers. Earlier PCs used the port for the mouse, and earlier Macintoshes used it to attach a printer.

DB (D-Sub) Connectors and COM Ports
If present, the serial port on the back of a PC is a male 9-pin connector (DE-9 D-sub connector). Earlier PCs may have 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
In earlier PCs, one or two serial ports, one parallel port and one game port were included on the motherboard. On the first PCs, these 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 large numbers of devices on the same bus. Like the legacy serial port, 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
Axelson devotes two new chapters to the use of this new class and explains how designers can use it to operate serial ports and manage and control data transfers.
The organization and its founding members define and implement Serial Port Memory Technology for broad market adoption as an industry standard memory interface capable of delivering the bandwidth flexibility, scalability, reduced pin count and low power required by future generations of mobile devices.
I/O Controller 2 also supports 9-bit data transfer over the serial port
For more information about Serial Port Memory Technology and the benefits of SPMT membership, please visit http://www.
The serial ports on each SeaLINK+8 appear as standard COM ports to the host computer enabling compatibility with legacy software.
The need for serial ports or UARTs continues to grow from traditional industrial markets to consumer electronics and our line of PCI and USB adapter chips are ideally suited to meet the demand.
Boasting speeds of up to 921 kbps, the new Quatech USB Serial Adapters enumerate themselves as standard serial ports without changes to application software or hardware.
By simply plugging in two Edgeport/8 units, ABM AMRO ONE gained 16 serial ports in a matter of minutes without opening the PC's chassis, reconfiguring and rebooting.
Packed with standard features including dual 10/100BaseT Ethernet, two RS-232/422/485 serial ports, and two USB 2.