The data communications industry

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Chapter One


In this chapter, we introduce the types of communication needed for UART.

During the past decade, the data communications industry has grown at an astronomical rate. Consequently, the need to provide communications between dissimilar computer systems has also increased. Thus to increase an orderly transfer of information between two or more data communication systems the use of different equipment with different needs came to existence.

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     A data communications network (Fig1.1) can be as simple as two personal computers connected through a public telecommunications network or it can be comprised of a complex network of one or more main frame computers and hundreds (or even thousands) of remote terminals, personal computers and workstations. Today, data communications networks are used to interconnect virtually all kinds of digital computing equipment such as Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) to bank computers, personal computers to inform highways such as internet and work stations to main frame computers. Data communications networks are also used for airline and hotel reservation systems and for mass media and news networks such as Associated Press (AP) or United Press International (UPI). The list of applications for data communications networks goes on almost indefinitely.

1.1 Serial and Parallel Data Transmission

Binary information can be transmitted either in parallel or in serial. Figure 1.2 shows the binary code 0110 is transmitted from location A to location B in parallel. As the figure shows, each bit position (A0 to A3) has its own transmission line. Consequently, all four bits can be transmitted simultaneously during the time of a single clock pulse (T). This type of transmission is called parallel-by-bit or serial-by-character.

1.2 Advantages of Serial over Parallel transmission

  • In serial transmission only one bit is transmitted at a time as such wiring will be minimum whereas in parallel transmission, bits will be sent simultaneously calling for need to provide wire for transmission of each bit, which may prove costly and almost worthless for long distance transmissions.
  • It is expected that all bits in parallel transmission reach data terminal equipment at the same instant. But, a definite delay will always exists, which might create a problem of slowing down high-speed devices.
  • There is also a problem of electromagnetic interference.

1.3 A typical example of UART application

1.4 Types of Serial Transmission

There are two primary forms of serial transmission

  • Synchronous
  • Asynchronous

Depending on the modes that are supported by the hardware, the name of the communication sub-system will usually include a A if it supports Asynchronous communication and a S if it supports synchronous communication.

Synchronous Serial Transmission

Synchronous serial transmission requires that the sender and receiver share a common clock with one another or that the sender provide a strobe or other timing signal so that the receiver knows when to read the next bit of data.

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