Serial Communication Products
In computing, a serial port is a serial communication physical interface through which information transfers in or out one bit at a time (in contrast to a parallel port). Throughout most of the history of personal computers, data transfer through serial ports connected the computer to devices such as terminals and various peripherals.
While such interfaces as Ethernet, FireWire, and USB all send data as a serial stream, the term "serial port" usually identifies hardware more or less compliant to the RS-232 standard, intended to interface with a modem or with a similar communication device.
There are different types of serial communication interfaces like Ethernet, USB, RS485, RS422 etc. Different manufacturers provide different types of serial communication interfaces to their products as per requirement of application. Due to this very often one gets a situation of interfacing two different types of serial communication interfaces. In order to provide connectivity between such devices serial converters are used.
Modern computers without serial ports may require serial-to-USB converters to allow compatibility with RS 232 serial devices. Serial ports are still used in applications such as industrial automation systems, scientific instruments, shop billing systems and some industrial and consumer products.
A serial converter is purely a bi-directional hardware converter. What-ever data is received at one port is sent to other port. Converters which convert one protocol (protocols are set of commands) to another protocol are called Gateway or Protocol Converters. Input and output ports in Gateways can be different. Gateways are used to connect products of different makes and different protocols to a single common serial communication bus.