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In telecommunications, RS-232 (Recommended Standard 232) is a standard for serial binary single-ended data and control signals connecting between a DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) and a DCE (Data Circuit-terminating Equipment). It is commonly used in computer serial ports. The standard defines the electrical characteristics and timing of signals, the meaning of signals, and the physical size and pinout of connectors.


Scope of the standard

The Electronics Industries Association (EIA) standard RS-232-C[1] as of 1969 defines:

  • Electrical signal characteristics such as voltage levels, signaling rate, timing and slew-rate of signals, voltage withstand level, short-circuit behavior, and maximum load capacitance.
  • Interface mechanical characteristics, pluggable connectors and pin identification.
  • Functions of each circuit in the interface connector.
  • Standard subsets of interface circuits for selected telecom applications.

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