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Serial and Parallel Communication

Data can be transmitted between a sender and a receiver in two main ways: serial and parallel.

Serial communication is the method of transferring one bit at a time through a medium.

0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0


Parallel communication is the method of transferring blocks, eg: BYTEs, of data at the same time.

0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0


As you can appreciate parallel communication is faster than serial. For this reason, the internal connections in a computer, ie: the busses, are linked together to allow parallel communication. However, the use of parallel communication for longer distance data communication is unfeasible for economic and practical reasons, eg: amount of extra cable required and synchronisation difficulties. Therefore, all long distance data communications takes place over serial connections.

Click on this link for the detailed wikipedia resource on serial communication.

Click on this link for the detailed wikipedia resource on parallel communication.

Next: Serial and Parallel Comparison