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Are the Parallel and Serial Ports becoming redundant

Need info



12:08 am on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There are more devices coming on the market that now use the usb ports, printers, routers, mouse, keyboard, wireless components and more.
There are still a lot of devices that use the serial port, eg data loggers, temperature, medical and manufacturing components. The serial port and parallel ports have advantages and disadvantages over the usb port.
My main concern is the parallel port, as I have software and certain components that utilizes this port.

What are your views on the parallel port not becoming part of main boards or computers any more. Or are there components in industry or business that can only use the parallel port, so it will always be a part of our computers.


12:45 am on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

RS-232 serial ports and IEEE 1284 parallel ports are going away because of three factors:

Speed: Neither offers any speed advantage over USB.
Size + cost 1: The cable connectors are larger and more expensive than those on USB molded cables.
Size + cost 2: These interfaces (connectors and support circuitry) take up space on -- and add cost to PC motherboards, but few users/devices use them any more.

If and when they disappear completely from commodity-level computers, you will still have two options: Buy an adapter card to plug into a PCI or PCIE motherboard slot, or buy an external "adapter box" to convert (for example) USB to parallel and vice-versa.



7:49 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

My most recent mother board (ASUS A8N-SLI Premium) has a parallel port (surprisingly) but only one serial port. And the serial port is a motherboard header that comes with a slot connector. This seems dictated primarily by the real estate needed for 5+1 audio, SPDIF coax and optical, 2 Ethernet ports, 4 USB ports, etc.

I expect both serial and parallel ports to be dropped from mother boards. But there are enough devices out that that require these that I don't see any danger of not being able to get adapter cards and USB dongles with serial and parallel ports.

Most of the problems using USB-to-parallel and USB-to-serial dongles have been solved, and this is a good solution. A lot of older software didn't permit using serial ports other than COM1 and COM2, but most software has been updated.


6:33 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for your replies.


6:52 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

jdMorgan is on the money!

My latest PC has one parallel, one RS232, and 6 USB ports.....I have no use for the parallel or RS232, I think 6 USBs is OTT, but, the direction is good ;)

Automan Empire

12:25 am on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I work with a proprietary widget diagnostic system which is used by widget repairmen all over the world. It uses a serial interface, and the system simply WILL. NOT. WORK. with any PCI or USB to serial adaptor. It apparently MUST work with a motherboard serial port.

The fact that it is custom made for a HUGE widget manufacturer, in partnership with a HUGE computer manufacturer, with the completely new release in December 2005, rather boggles the mind.

Large numbers of users found themselves having to return awesome brand new computers, after wasting untold time with tech support, and buying more than one (unreturnable) serial interface adaptor.

This goes to show that the disappearing serial port means nothing to a vast majority of users, but can be devastating to a certain percentage.

OTOH, I just sold a secondhand computer with a freshly installed gigabit LAN card, and the buyer acted quite disappointed that it lacked a 56k modem jack... and they HAVE cable DSL!


9:49 pm on May 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

RS-232 and IEEE 1284 ports are not going to eb developed supported further,that tendency has tarted taking place a few years ago

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