Long Live RS-232!

December 3, 2015 at 8:00 AM


The world of technology is in a constant state of evolution. New devices become obsolete soon after their release, surpassed by upgraded versions.  When a device or standard remains relevant for five years, it feels like a lifetime.


RS-232 has done the unthinkable and achieved the technological equivalent of immortality. It remains a viable technology more than 50 years after its inception.


RS-232 is a telecommunications standard for serial communication transmission of data that was mainly used in computer serial ports.  It was used to connect data terminal equipment, such as a computer terminal, to data circuit-terminating equipment, such as a modem.


RS-232 was once a standard feature on most personal computers to connect printers, modems, mice and other devices. It is still used extensively in embedded computer development systems, scientific instruments and industrial control equipment.


Everyday applications of RS-232 include gas pumps that allow you to pay at the pump with a credit card and healthcare technology such as mobile MRI units, fetal monitors and kidney dialysis machines.


RS-232 serial ports are also commonly used to communicate to headless systems, such as servers that don’t have a monitor or keyboard, and in embedded systems when no network connection is available.


On its list of attributes, RS-232 is a proven technology, it’s cost effective, flexible and widely available. It uses simple wiring and connectors, is included in most embedded processors and features easy implementation software.


Wireless RS-232 systems offer additional benefits including extended range capabilities, portability and ease of installation.  New and legacy systems can use wireless RS-232 connectivity providing added application support.


RS-232 has proven itself in the ever-changing technology industry. After more than half a century, it continues to gain a place in new applications. For RS-232 the end is nowhere in sight!


Posted in: Wired

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