Serial port

Communication interface transmitting information sequentially / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computing, a serial port is a serial communication interface through which information transfers in or out sequentially one bit at a time.[1] This is in contrast to a parallel port, which communicates multiple bits simultaneously in parallel. Throughout most of the history of personal computers, data has been transferred through serial ports to devices such as modems, terminals, various peripherals, and directly between computers.

A male D-subminiature connector used for a serial port on an IBM PC compatible computer along with the serial port symbol

While interfaces such as Ethernet, FireWire, and USB also send data as a serial stream, the term serial port usually denotes hardware compliant with RS-232 or a related standard, such as RS-485 or RS-422.

Modern consumer personal computers (PCs) have largely replaced serial ports with higher-speed standards, primarily USB. However, serial ports are still frequently used in applications demanding simple, low-speed interfaces, such as industrial automation systems, scientific instruments, point of sale systems and some industrial and consumer products.

Server computers may use a serial port as a control console for diagnostics, while networking hardware (such as routers and switches) commonly use serial console ports for configuration, diagnostics, and emergency maintenance access. To interface with these and other devices, USB-to-serial converters can quickly and easily add a serial port to a modern PC.