What is Serial Technology?
Data travels in time and space between system components–the server and PC, the
PC and connected devices, and within the software. Data that is transferred serially
moves one bit at a time in linear succession through a fast single path. In contrast, data
transferred in parallel mode consists of many data bits moving together simultaneously
on a shared pathway.
The primary differentiator between serial and parallel architectures is the clock. In serial
technology the clock is embedded in the data. This results in data constantly moving
through the system from one point to another using the bandwidth to the fullest extent.
A parallel architecture clock moves data at a measured pace, resulting in intermittent
periods of inactivity. Data using parallel paths is akin to a vast army marching under
the command of one general–it simply can’t move as fast. The benefits of serial
technology are well understood and are now being used for the most advanced desktop
and enterprise applications including USB, 1394, Ethernet and Fibre Channel.