A form of signal transmission that sends information one bit at a time over a single data channel. Serial interfaces are generally used to connect data communications equipment (DCE) such as modems to data terminal equipment (DTE) such as computers and terminals and for connecting a DCE to a DTE. The term “interface” indicates that these specifications describe how to establish an electrical (pinning) and mechanical (connector) shared boundary between devices. An interface specifies a series of protocols, an arrangement of pins, special control signals, and other functions that enable devices to communicate with each other.
The common specifications for serial interfaces include the following:
Serial interfaces such as RS-232 are the most commonly used protocol for devices called line drivers, which enable terminals and hosts to be connected over phone lines and extend the distance over which the serial interface can function by regenerating the signal.
Related terminology includes