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Parallel data transmission

Parallel data transmission

Parallel data transmission definition

Parallel data transmission involves sending multiple bits of data simultaneously across multiple communication channels. Each data unit travels on a dedicated line, making it faster than serial transmission (where bits are sent one after the other). Parallel data transmission is commonly used in computers, printers, and short-range, high-speed connections. However, it can be more complex and cost more to implement.

See also: bandwidth

Parallel data transmission vs. serial data transmission

Parallel data transmission:

  • Data bits are sent across multiple communication pathways simultaneously.
  • Offers higher bandwidth because each bit of data occupies its own line.
  • Implementing it can be more complex due to managing multiple lines and ensuring synchronization.
  • Typically costs more as it needs more cables and connectors.

Serial data transmission:

  • Sends data bits one after the other on a single communication line or channel.
  • Uses a narrower data path (i.e., data bits share the same line), so may offer a lower bandwidth.
  • Is generally simpler to implement and manage.
  • Is more suitable for longer distances as timing alignment is easier to maintain over extended paths.
  • Typically costs less.

Parallel data transmission examples

  • Older printers used a parallel port to quickly send print data from computers.
  • Inside computers, CPUs communicate with memory using parallel pathways for fast data exchange.
  • High-resolution displays connect to graphics cards using parallel transmission to ensure smooth video quality.
  • Supercomputers use parallel data transmission to process complex tasks at incredible speeds.
  • Machines in factories exchange control signals quickly through parallel communication.
  • Parallel data transmission is used in real-time video editing to handle large video files.

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