Parallel port

Meaning – The term parallel port, refers to an access point through which a computer transmits or receives data that consists of several bits sent simultaneously on separate wires.

A standard parallel port connector has two rows of 25 total pins surrounded by a metal casing. It is roughly an inch in width and has two screw-in connectors to keep the cable in place. Parallel port cables used for printing often have an even larger 36-pin Centronics 36 connector that connects to the printer.

As printers became more advanced, it was necessary to increase the connection speed and also provide bidirectional communication. Instead of the PC sending a “print” command and hoping the print job was successful, the bidirectional capability allowed printers to send messages back to the PC, such as “ready,” “printing,” and “complete.”

Example of usage“The parallel port was eventually standardized by the IEEE as “IEEE 1284.” This standard defined new versions of the parallel port, including the Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP) and the Extended Capability Port (ECP).”