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Difference between Serial Ports and Parallel Ports
In a computer system, a port provides an interface to connect a peripheral device to the computer system. Thus, ports in the computer hardware are the jacks or sockets through which the peripheral devices are attached to the computer system. These ports are standardized for each purpose. There are several types of ports available in the computer system such as USB ports, Ethernet ports, display ports, serial ports, parallel ports, etc. Through these ports, we connect different hardware devices such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. to the computer.
Read through this article to find out more about Serial ports and Parallel ports and how they are different from each other
What are Serial Ports?
Serial Ports provide an interface to connect serial lines to prepare a serial communication. Serial ports are the types of computer ports through which the data bits are transmitted as a single stream of binary 0s and 1s in the form of electric signals. Serial ports provide only a single transmission path that can be a single wire, a pair of wires, or a single channel in case of wireless communication.
Serial ports are the oldest communication interfaces that are mainly used to connect printers and modem to the computer system. But in modern computers, serial ports are used to connect modern devices like flat-screen monitors, security cameras, GPS devices, etc. Serial ports are sometimes also called COM Ports (or Communication Ports).
A serial port uses a DB-9 connector, a 9-pin D-Shaped Connector which connects to the transmission line. A serial port provides serial communication using one line and thus has no dependency on other wire's speed and its length can be extended as per the need.
What are Parallel Ports?
A parallel port is another type of computer port to connect a peripheral device to the computer system. As its name implies, a parallel port can transmit multiple bits of data all together at the same time. Therefore, in the case of parallel ports, the rate of data transmission is relatively high as compared to series ports because these transmit data without any hold-up.
Parallel ports are mainly used to connect those computer peripheral devices that require high bandwidth. The most common examples of such devices are printers, monitors, projectors, etc.
Parallel ports provide an interface to connect multiple lines to prepare a parallel communication to send large data at a time. Parallel ports are used in connecting printers, hard-drives, CD-drives, etc. All line’s speed should be the same to avoid error and cross-talk issues. To avoid such issues, the wires are kept small in length. A parallel port uses a D-25 connector, a 25 pin D-Shaped connector that connects to the transmission wires.
Difference between Serial Ports and Parallel Ports
The following table highlights the important differences between Serial Ports and Parallel Ports −
|Parameter||Serial Ports||Parallel Ports|
|Definition||A series port is one that transmits one data at a time in a single stream of 0s and 1s.||A parallel port is one that transmits multiple data bits at a time.|
|Purpose||Serial Port is used for serial data transmission.||Parallel Port is used for parallel data transmission.|
|Transmission Speed||Transmission speed of a serial port is slow as compared to a parallel port.||Transmission speed of a parallel port is quiet high as compared to a serial port.|
|No. of Data Bits||A serial port can transmit one bit at a time through a single wire.||A parallel port can transmit a set of data bits (like 8-bits, 16-bits) at the same time through separate wires.|
|Bandwidth||Serial ports are used to connect those peripheral devices that require low bandwidth.||Parallel ports are used to connect those devices that require relatively high bandwidth.|
|Connector||A serial port uses DB-9 connector, a 9 pin D-Shaped Connector which connects to the transmission line.||A parallel port uses D-25 connector, a 25 pin D-Shaped connector which connects to the transmission wires.|
|Redundancy||Bottom-Up model is better suited as it ensures minimum data redundancy and focus is on reusability.||Top-down model has high ratio of redundancy as the size of project increases.|
|No. of Wires||Wire connections to serial port are quiet less as compared to parallel port.||No. of wires that are connected to parallel port are quiet high as compared to serial port.|
|Capability||A serial port is able to transmit a single stream of data at a time.||A parallel port is able to transmit multiple data streams at a time.|
|Data Sending Mechanism||A serial port sends data bit by bit after sending a bit at a time.||A parallel port sends data by sending multiple bits in parallel fashion.|
|Port Type||A serial port uses Male ports.||A parallel port uses Female ports.|
|Applications||Modems, security cameras, device controllers use serial ports.||Printers, Hard Drives, CD drives use parallel ports.|
In a computer system, several types of ports are available to connect different types of peripheral devices. Serial ports and Parallel ports are the most commonly used computer ports. The most significant difference between serial ports and parallel ports is that a serial port transmits one data bit at a time, whereas a parallel port transmits multiple data bits at a time. Due to this, the speed of data transmission through a parallel port is higher than that of a serial port.
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