The USB Bus
The Universal Serial Bus (USB) allows users to run multiple peripheral devices on their computer without the hassle of installing add-in cards. With USB up to 127 individual devices can be connected to a host computer using a single interface and a system of USB Hubs. The USB bus fully supports the Plug and Play standard and is hot-swappable allowing users to connect and disconnect devices while the computer is running. USB 1.1, the original standard has a maximum data rate of 12 Mbps. The newer USB 2.0 standard has increased the peripheral to PC connection speed from 12 Mbps to 480Mbps.

Available Devices
Interworld Electronics carries a large range of USB to serial devices for the RS-232/422/485 protocols. They can provide up to 16 ports via a single box with easily accessible connections. All the USB serial devices are bus-powered, so no external power supply is needed. Baud Rates up to 921.6K for RS422/485 can be supported. Selected models also feature the industry's only surge suppression package for USB that makes them ideal for implementing USB to serial networks in laboratories, factories, and other potentially harsh environments.

For a list of available USB serial devices see:
USB Serial Devices

Software Compatibility
USB serial ports are virtual COM ports. That is they are implemented in software and as such do not have a physical address or IRQ assigned to them. For this reason USB serial ports are not compatible with DOS based Legacy software. If you are running DOS or DOS based Legacy software under Windows you will need a computer with an ISA slot and ISA serial card or a PCMCIA drive and PCMCIA serial card.

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