Don's Home Technology Data Communications Interfaces Contact
last updated 3 July 2021

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Contents: PC Connectors | Internal PC | ISP - DCE to DCE | Wireless | WAN | Glossary


PhysicalProtocolSpeedTypical Use
PC Connecter (Connectors)
SerialRS-2329.6Kbps - 115Kbpsmodems, PDA
ParallelCentronics150K Bytes/secprinter, Scanner
Enhanced Parallel (EPP)IEEE 1284-B600K Bytes/sec - 1.5M Bytes/sprinter, Scanner
USBUSB-1.11.5Mbps, 12Mbpsscanners, printers, cameras, modems, CD-ROM drives, PDAs 5v *
USBUSB-2480 Mbits/sec scanners, printers, cameras, modems, CD-ROM drives, PDAs 5v ...
USB Micro-B
USB-35Gbpsexternal hard drives
USB-C10Gbpsexternal hard drives
USB OTG?cameras, mobil phones, PDAs, GPS, printer, PC
FireWire 400
IEEE 1394100-400MbpsDigital Video, CD-RW, HardDisks
FireWire 8001394b800Mbps - 3.2Gbps
USB-CThunderbolt 320 Gbpsexternal hard drives
USB-CThunderbolt 440 Gbpsexternal hard drives
eSATASATA/150150 MByte/secExternal Hard Drive. Notebooks can use a PCI card.
300 MByte/sec
SCSI15 MByte/secscanners, hard disk
SCSIFast Wide 220 MByte/sec
SCSIUltra160 MByte/secData storage
Fibre Channel 133Mbps - 4.2GbsCommunications & SAN
Ethernet802.310Mbps (10Base-T)LAN, DSL, Cable Modem
Ethernet802.3u100Mbps (100Base-TX)LAN
Wireless (see Wireless below)
InfraredIrDA-SIR9600 bps to 115.2 KbpsPDA, Printer, LAN 1-10 ft.
InfraredIrDA-MIR1.15 Mbps
InfraredIrDA-FIR4 Mbps
PC CardPCMCIA(see Internal Connectors below)
PhysicalProtocolSpeedTypical Use
Modem (see Data Comm. Equip. below)
Audio-Video (AV)
RGB  RGB Monitor
RCAcomposite video
 CamCorder, VCR, TV
S-Video  CamCorder, VCR, TV
S/PDIFIEC-958CD, DVD (75 ohm coax)
DVI-DDigital Video - Digital Only
DVI-IDigital Video Integrated - capable of an additional analog signal for legacy devices.
ADCApple Display Connector
HDMI10.2GbpsHi Definition TV Bluray Disc players, HDTVs External monitors.
Display Port21.6Gbps - Greater resolution, faster refresh rates, and more color depth than HDMI
Thunderbolt10GbpsHD Video, Data, power,
Internal PC Connector (Connectors)
System BusISA16 bit 8 MhzNIC, Video Card, Sound Card, Modem,
Interface card (SCSI, USB, ..)
System BusEISA32 bit 8 Mhz
System BusPCI32-64 bit 33 Mhz (132MBs)
System Bus PCIe
32-133 MHz 64 bit
System BusAGP 2x32 bit 66 Mhz (528MBs)Video Card for fast 3D video.
System BusAGP 4x1 Gbs
PC CardPCMCIA16 bit 20 MBytes/secmodem, NIC, CDPD, RAM
CardBusPCMCIA32 bit 80 MBytes/sec
ATAIDE33-100 MBytes/sHard disk controller
ATAPIIDE1-6 MBytes/sCD-ROM interface
CDCD-ROM1X = 153KB/s
24X = 3.6MB/sec
Audio - 650MB
DVDDVD-ROM1x ~= 1.32MB/s
8X = 10.8MB/sec
Video - 4.37GB [8.5GB for Dual Layer (DL)]
Blu-rayBD-ROM1x ~= 36MB/s
12X = 432MB/sec
HD Video - 25GB [Dual Layer 50GB]
FaxV.1714,400 bps
ModemV.90up to 56Kbps downstream
ModemV.34bisup to 33.6Kbps
ISDN 64-128Kbps for BRI, 1.5Mbps for PRI
DSL/ADSL Typical Downstream 384Kbps; Upstream 128Kbps
Max. downstream 7.1 Mbps
upstream 680Kbps
higher speeds cost more
Cable Modem analog
See HFC below for digital
 Typical Downstream: 1 Mbps; Upstream 128Kbps
Max: 52 Mbps downstream; upstream: 4 Mbps
uses 1 - 6 MHz channel for downstream: 27-36Mbps agregated;
Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Typical Downstream 10-20 Mbps; Upstream 2-5 Mbps
Verizon FiOS offers 30 Mbps for business.
Fiber is capable of 2.5 Gbps/channel
Broadband over Powerline (BPL) 
CATV 50 - 330, 450 or 550 MHz (6MHz/channel)
QPSK/16 QAM 5 to 42 MHz voice/data
760-1000 MHz future signaling and other 2-way
3 Mbps
  HFC downstream64/256 QAM
50 to 550 80 NTSC TV cannels;
550 750 digital TV
750 - 860 MHz data (up to 38Mbps/6MHz channel)
HDTV8-VSB19.4Mbps over 6MHz channel
See Speed Tests
Radio Frequency (RF) - Wireless data transmission
PhysicalBandSpeedTypical Use
Wireless (Antenna Connectors)
Local Comm Private Area Network (PAN) 
BlueTooth2.4GHz720 Kbps
PAN, PDA, Mobil Phone to PC
Distance Class 2 (phones, headsets) 10 m (32 ft)
Class Maximum Power Operating Range
Class 1 100mW 100 meters
Class 2 2.5mW 10 meters
Class 3 1mW 1 meter
BlueTooth 2.0 EDR2.4GHz2.1 MbpsEDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
BlueTooth 2.1 EDR2.4GHz3.0 MbpsEDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
BlueTooth 3.0 HS2.4GHz24 MbpsHS (High Speed)
BlueTooth 4.02.4GHz24 MbpsPAN, PDA, Mobil Phone to PC
Distance 10 m (32 ft)
BlueTooth LE 4.0+2.4GHz24 MbpsLE - Low energy - Bluetooth Smart
built for the Internet of Things (IoT) e.g. heart rate monitor
32 ft up to 150 ft
NFC13.56 MHz400 KbpsNear Field Communications
max. 4-8 inches, phones, tablets, point of sale devices
UWB 3.1-
10.6 GHz
100 Mbps Ultra-Wideband: 50 m
Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS)e.g. Apple AirTag, Samsung SmartTag, Baby Monitors, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, Digital Car Keys, Zigbee Devices,
In iPhone 11, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus
ANT+2.4GHzBike computers, heart monitors, blood glucose meters
IR9600 bps to 115.2 KbpsPDA, Printer, LAN 1-10 ft.
Home RF2.4GHz1.6 MbpsPAN, (future 10 Mbps)
Z-Wave2.4GHzHome automation
IEEE 802.15.4 LR-PAN
Zigbee915MHzHome automation
IEEE 802.15.4 LR-PAN
2.4GHz1,2,5.5,11 MbpsPAN (Apple AirBus),PDA, Mobil Phone to PC
Distance 50-500 ft. 11Mbps 100-175 ft. 5.5Mbps, 175-200 ft. 2 Mbps
802.11g2.4GHz54 MbpsPAN/WLAN 50-300 ft.
5.5 GHz54, 108 MbpsPAN/WLAN
Distance 0-20 ft. 54Mbps, 20-40' 48Mbps, 40-75' 36Mbps, 75-85' 24Mbps, 20-135 ft. 18Mbps, 135-175' 12Mbps, 175-200+ 6Mbps
802.11n2.4 and 5 GHz100-450 MbpsPAN/WLAN 50-300 ft. avail. 2007
Some advertise 900 Mbps which is 450 Mbps on each band using wide channels. See wireless routers in products
802.11ac2.4 GHz (n speeds only)
and 5 GHz
290 Mbps -
1.3 Gbps
Wi-Fi Direct
2.4 250 Mbps656 ft range.
Device to Device without an access point.
Wide Area Comm 
CDPD800MHz19.2 Kbps (14.4 thruput)E-mail, Web, meter reading
GSM900MHz9.6 Kbps
ARDIS800MHz19.2 Kbps
RAM900MHz8 Kbps
Ricochet902MHz28 Kbps
171 Kbps
2.5G Voice/data mobil phone
824 MHz, 1.9 GHz153 Kbps2.5G Voice/data mobil phone (test by Sprint and Lucent 4/2001, avail 2003)
CDMA2000 1xEV1.9 GHz3G 2 Mbps Data only fixed
See Mobile Phone Technologies for more
WAPWorks over CDPD, CDMA, TDMA, GSM,...Short messages and e-mail to cell phones and pagers
LMDS28GHzDownstream: 1.5-2 Gbps, Upstream 200MbpsWireless data to business
MMDS2.5GHz720 KbpsWirless Cable TV to homes
Satellite downstream: 400 Kbps; upstream: 128Kbps
See also: Electro-Magnetic Spectrum
(Note: Frame Relay and ATM are higher level-2 protocols/services which can run over T-1, T-3, SONET or other transport networks.
T-1 1.544 MbpsPoint to Piont private net
T-3 45 MbpsPoint to Point private net
SONET 53Mbps - 13Gbs
(OC-1 - OC-256)
shared fiber optic backbone transport technology.
Frame Relay 56Kbps - 45Mbpsshared access network service.
ATM 56Kbps - 622Mbpshigh speed switching service used by telcos and large organizations. Speeds will increase over time.
WDM 640GbsA transport technology that uses multiple lasers and transmits several wavelengths of light (lambdas) simultaneously over a single optical fiber.
* USB power - Clients have to accept 4.75 to 5.25V and must be able to send configuration data as low as 4.4V. Hubs are allowed to drop as much as 0.35V.
By itself, a USB plug does not have to supply more than 100mA; however up to 500mA can be negotiated between device and host. Some USB hosts simply offer up 500mA from the get-go.
USB power supplies short the two data lines (white and green) which allows the device to probe for the fact that they're power supplies (i.e. that they provide the full 500mA without negotiation and that they won't respond to data).

USB speeds | The Verge

The first SuperSpeed USB specification, USB 3.0, was released in 2008, and it most notably supported increased speeds up to 5 Gbps, a vast improvement from USB 2.0 which supported 480 Mbps

It has been revised several times.

In 2019, the USB Promoter Group announced the USB4 specification, which offers a substantial increase in signaling speed – up to 40 Gbps using a dual lane operation within a Type-C cable. With this newly introduced USB spec, it will provide a new opportunity for USB-IF to create a clear brand that distinctly indicates USB performance moving forward.

In 2020 the final USB 3.2 specification comprises of all prior 3.0 and 3.1 specifications and encompasses all three speeds: 5 Gbps, 10 Gbps, and 20 Gbps. For marketing and branding purposes, the SuperSpeed USB packaging logos include these performances for easier adoption by consumers:

Connectors and Cables

You can get adapters or converter interface cables for:

With digital video expensive monster cables are not necessary. A cheap HDMI cable from Amazon will serve you as well as a Monster cable. Standard HDMI cables today can be up to 49’ long without any signal loss. enjoy. What’s the Difference Between HDMI and DVI? Which is Better?

1XEv 1x Evolution - Data Only 3G Wireless, which is sometimes called
  Phase 1+, provides 2 Mbps for data only.
1XRTT Phase 1 CDMA2000 3G Wireless technology.
    named for RTT Programmes Limited.
3G Third Generation Wireless supporting high speed data
3XRTT Phase 2 with 3x the rate of Phase 1
802.11 - Wireless Ethernet
ADC  Apple Display Connector
ADSL Asymmetric DSL
AGP  Accelerated Graphics Port - A high-speed graphics port from Intel that
    provides a direct connection between the display adapter and memory.
    AGP 2x is 528 Mbytes/sec. AGP 4x is 1 Gbytes/sec. AGP 8x is 2 Gbytes/sec.
ARDIS Wireless Data Network (now Motient)
ATA AT Attachment - Official name of IDE interface to disk drives
ATA-2 (Fast ATA) EIDE Interface also supports ATAPI.
ATA-4 Ultra ATA (33 MBytes/s) also called ATA-33
ATA/100 UltraATA/100 ATA at 100 MBytes/s
ATAPI ATA Packet Interface - Spec. for IDE  CD-ROMs
ATI ATI Technologies - Mfg. of graphics chips and display adapters
ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode
BTLE - Bluetooth Low Energy
CATV Community Antenna TV (Original name for Cable TV)
CDPD  Cellular Digital Packet Data
CD-RW CD-Rewriteable
    Speeds: write, rewrite, read
     e.g. 8x4x32 = 1.2 MB/s write, 600KB/s rewrite, 4.8MB/s read
CD-ROM Compact Disc Read Only Memory 650MB capacity
    1x - 150 KBytes/sec 40x - 6 MBytes/sec. Access times  80 - 120ms
CDMA Code Division Multiple Access - A spread spectrum technology used
    in radio transmission such as mobil phones.
CDMA2000 A 3G wireless technology that increases data transmission rates.
 It goes by several names: IS-2000, MC-1X, IMT-CDMA MultiCarrier 1X & 1XRTT
CIF - Common Interchange Format - Video Conferencing Resolution 
CMTS - Cable modem termination system
CPU - Central Processing Unit e.g. Pentium, PowerPC
DataTAC Motorola technology used in ARDIS wireless network
DBS - direct broadcast satellite
DCE Data Communications Equipment
DDR Double Data Rate - Video
DIMM Dual In-line Memory Module - sockets used for SDRAM
DLC - Digital loop Carrier
DMA Direct Memory Access - Specialized circuitry or a dedicated
   microprocessor that transfers data from memory to memory without using the CPU
DOCSIS Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.
DRAM  Dynamic RAM. Must be refreshed constantly, but are smaller
    and require less power than Static RAM.
DSL Digital Subscriber Line
DSLAM - Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexor 
DSSS Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (one of the methods used in
   wireless ethernet (802.11).  Also used in CDMA transmision.
DV Digital Video
DVI Digital Visual Interface. Common for LCD displays.
DVI-D Digital only
DVI-I Digital and Analog
DVC Digital Video Camera/Casette
ECP Enhanced Capabilities Port - Mode  for EPP  designed for printers.
   It uses DMA channels, which reduces CPU overhead
EDO - Extended Data Out - 72 pin memory chip 40MHz
EIDE Enhanced IDE - Most PCs have 2 EIDE sockets for connecting
  dirves via a 40 pin ribbon cable.
EISA Extended ISA Bus (Extends ISA from 16 to 32 bits)
(most Pentium PC's have both EISA or ISA and PCI bus EPP Enhanced Parallel Port - Increases speed. Instead of just data, it can send addresses, allowing individual components in a multifunction device (printer, scanner, fax, etc.) to be addressed independently. IEEE 1284 also defines the required cable type that increases distance to 32 feet. eSATA - External Serial Advanced Technology EVGA - Enhanced video graphics array. PC Video Display standard 1024x768 FHSS Frequency hopping spread spectrum (one of the methods used in wireless ethernet (802.11) FPM Fast Page Mode - 72 pin Memory chips 25MHz Gbps - Giga bits per second (Trillion) GPRS General Packet Radio Service GSM Global System for Mobile Communications HFC - hybrid fiber/coax HDMI High Definition Multimedia Interface Home RF - Proxim Competitor to 801.11 for PAN Based on cordless phone signaling. More tollerant to noise form Microwaves and Cordless phones. IDE Integrated Drive Electronics - Hardware interface for Hard Disks. More popular than SCSI now. i.Link - Sony's name for the IEEE 1394 FireWire IoT - Internet of Things ISA Industry Standard Architecture (Originally AT Bus) (most Pentium PC's had both EISA or ISA and PCI slots, but after 2000 most have only PCI slots. Early PC's had 8-bit ISA slots, most are 16-bit now. ISM Band Industrial, Scientific and Medical band
un-licensed bands e.g. 900MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5.8GHz IrDA Infrared Data Association Kbps - Thousand bits per second LMDS Local Multipoint Distribution System (28GHz) LR-PAN - Low Rate Personal Area Network M2M - Machine to Machine Mbps - Mega bits per second (Million) MCDN MicroCellular Data Network (Ricochet) MMDS Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service
or Microwave Multipoint Distribution Service NDIS Network Driver Interface Specification (API for NIC's) NIC Network Interface Card NTSC National Television Standards Committee (composite video Interface) OC-1 Optical Carrier level-1 - 51.84Mbps OC-3 Optical Carrier level-3 - 155Mbps OC-12 Optical Carrier level-231 - 622Mbps OC-48 Optical Carrier level-48 - 2.5Gbs OC-192 Optical Carrier level-192 - 9.95Gbs OC-256 Optical Carrier level-256 - 13.2Gbs ODI Open Data-Link Interface) A network driver interface from Novell & Apple OTG On the Go,OBJECTive Technology Group. Small connector USB. PAL Phase Alternating Line - TV standard used in Europe, S. Amer. and China PAN personal area network (Wireless LAN. short distances - 100m.) PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect Bus 1993 32 - 64 bits, on PC's, Macs and workstations. Cards come in 5.25" and 3.5". PC's come with a combination of 3.5 and 5.25" bays. PCMCIA Personal Computer Memory Card International Association PDA Personal Digital Assistant (e.g. Palm, Handspring, WinCE) QCIF - Quarter Common Interchange Format (H.263) RAM Random Access Memory RAM Wireless Data Network (was BellSouth now Cingular Interactive) RDRAM Rambus DRAM Produced by Rambus, Inc., Speeds to 1.6 GBps RGB Red-Green-Blue Video interface - 4 Coax connectors R,G,B,Sync RIMM Rambus In-line Memory Module SAN Storage Area Network SCSI Small Computer System Interface - Used for connecting disk drives and other peripherals to a computer. Allows 8 or 16 devices to be daisy-chained. Most PCs now use an IDE interface for drives. SDRAM Synchronous DRAM - 168 pin memory chips are fast enough to be synchronized with the CPU's clock, which eliminates wait states. 66-133MHz 133MHz SDRAM has a max. transfer rate of 1.1 Gbps 133MHz DDR SDRAM has a max. of 2.1 Gbps Older (1994) DRAM had transfer rates of 300 Mbps SIMM Single In-line Memory Module used for DRAM SIR Slow Infrared SMS Short Message Service (max 160 byte messages) SONET Synchronous Optical Network S/PDIF Sony/Philips Digital InterFace (Digital Audio) SRAM Static RAM (requires power to hold content. Faster than DRAM) SRSC SilkRoad Refractive Synchronization Communication STS-n Synchronous Transport Signal level-n (see OC-n for speeds) SVGA Super VGA - PC Video Display standard 800x600 S-video Super-video - Recording and transmitting video by keeping luminance (Y) and color information (C) on separate channels Tbps Terra bits per second (Quadrillion) USB Universal Serial Bus USB OTG - USB On The Go - Will allow peripheral and mobile devices like PDAs, cell phones and digital cameras to be attached directly to one another without having to have a PC in between. U160-SCSI Ultra SCSI allowing 160 MBytes/s VOD Video on Demand VGA Video Graphics Array - Refers to both the connector type PC Video Display standard - 640x480 pixels w/ 256 colors. Uses a 9 pins on a 15 pin connector W-CDMA Wideband CDMA WAN Wide Area Networks WAP Wireless Application Protocol WBFH Wide-Band Frequency Hopping WDM Wave Division Multiplexing
See also:
Network Architecture
Connection chart with speeds at

Home Digital Media Resources (Standards, Formats, HDMI, DLNA, DVI, ...)
Broadband Access Testing Methodology and Case Studies White Paper at
Wireless Antenna Connectors
Buses: (Automotive Buses, PCIe Bus, Apple Buses, ...)
Buses at
Pinouts at
USB for Win NT
Funk & Wagnalls Telecomm page
Cable Modems
DSL Speed: Verizon, PacBell
Computer Ports USB HDMI eSATA Thunderbolt | Computer repair Las Vegas |

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