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Serial communications

The communications links across which computers, or parts of computers, talk to one another, may be either serial or parallel. A parallel link transmits several streams of data (perhaps representing particular bits of a stream of bytes) along multiple channels (wires, printed circuit tracks, optical fibres, ...); a serial link transmits a single stream of data.

At first sight it would seem that a serial link must be inferior to a parallel one, because it can transmit less data on each clock tick. However, there are plenty of compensating advantages.

Some examples of serial communication architectures: