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Chapter: Serial and Parallel Communications

Section 1: Serial Communications

What is the characterizing feature of serial communications?

How many data paths are there in serial and parallel communication lines?

Are there any lines more than simply the data path lines that connect two points? Relate
to the control lines in a communication link in your answer. (Web research may be
needed to give the answer to this question).

What is the major challenge that faces the implementation of parallel communication?

Why is most communication conducted in serial mode as opposed to it being conducted


in parallel mode?
Give examples of serial and parallel communication.

What is an RS-232 serial connection? Name some of its uses.

How many RS-232 ports are normally found in a typical microcomputer?

What are the serial communication connections that are replacing the RS-232 ports?

Where can one find RS-232 ports? (Include terminals in your discussion as well.)
What is the function of the serial port? In this case, discuss the type of data conversion
that takes place when data crosses over the serial port from the computer to the
communication lines.

State the data bus width of a typical PCI expansion bus. What is the largest bus width of
the PCI data bus? (Additional web research may be needed to answer this question.)

Explain the function of the UART chip. Expand the acronym as well.

What is an RJ-11 connection?

Name some of the old ports that are being replaced with the new USB ports. Incidentally,
the old ports are known as the legacy porst.
Name the resources that are taken by a legacy port such as the serial port.

Explain the purpose of IRQ, I/O Address, Base Memory Address and DMA channel.
(Some web research may be needed).

Why should resources such as IRQ etc. be used prudently? What is the solution available
for optimizing the use of computer resources? Refer to peripheral device connections in
answering this question.

What is the advantage of using USB ports in terms of conserving the resources mentione
earlier?

Explain the term PCI steering. (Additional web research may be needed to answer this
question.)
Name some of the advantages of using USB devices.

List the two different types of serial ports (RS 232) that one may expect to find on the
back old microcomputers. (Refer to the number of pins in each type of connection.)

Indicate the difference between a male and a female connection in the case of the DB-9
port.

How is a legacy serial port differentiated from a legacy parallel port?

Name some of the end connector types that a serial cable could have.
Indicate some of the considerations that need to be taken into account when purchasing a
cable to connect a modem to a microcomputer.