- The background of the 9 pin serial port.
- Modern Uses of Serial Ports
- Why is Serial Port Connector Software Important?
1. The background of the 9 pin serial port.
The serial port has long been a mainstay of computer technology, and is used to transmit data one bit at a time. In the early days of the personal computer, a majority of printers, hard drives and other peripheral devices communicated via a serial port. Though their use is not as widespread as it once was, serial ports are still an important part of many computing infrastructures.
The first serial ports were DB-25s and had 25 pins. These were bulky and were replaced by the more space efficient DB-9 with its nine pins. Serial ports are controlled by a special chip - UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter), which are found on the computer’s motherboard or an expansion card.
The RS232 protocol and related RS232 pinout were adopted as standard for serial ports and 9 pin serial connectors. Here is the layout and function of the 9 pins:
2. Modern Uses of Serial Ports
At one time the serial port was the most common type of connection used for personal computers and peripheral devices. While most personal consumer devices now favor a form of USB connection, serial ports are still widely used as the connection type in scientific and industrial equipment. They are also still often used in modems.
Some areas where serial ports are still commonly employed are in devices that monitor industrial measurements such as temperature and pressure. The slower speeds of the serial ports and connectors are still sufficient for these uses. In many cases, legacy equipment would be very expensive to replace and will remain in place until it is no longer of any value.
Though many modern computers do not come equipped with a serial port, converters are available that allow you to use the resident USB port on your machine to connect to serial components.