What Is a Dell PCI Serial Port?

By Ian Brown

A PCI card
i computer image by Hubert from Fotolia.com

A Dell PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) serial port is a printed circuit board expansion card that fits inside a Dell computer, to provide a serial connection between the computer motherboard's PCI bus, and external hardware that utilizes serial signals.

Dell Specific

White PCI slots on the motherboard
i port pci image by Neolabs from Fotolia.com

PCI serial port expansion cards used by Dell computers are not manufactured by Dell. However, Dell computers are not generic, and although any PCI port card would fit in the Dell computer offering a PCI slot, compatibility problems may arise. It is therefore advisable to use the Dell recommended part.

PCI Connection.

A PCI expansion card fits into a PCI-type slot on the computer's motherboard. There are many different PCI cards, and motherboards can have numerous PCI slots. The PCI connector superseded the ISA connector. Some motherboards have both.

Serial Port Connection

A serial port can be on board a motherboard or on a PCI or ISA expansion card.
i la connexion image by richard villalon from Fotolia.com

The serial port connection comprises a nine-pin D-sub fitting. Older computers used to connect a mouse, joystick, video or modem to the serial port. The serial port has now been replaced by USB and Firewire interfaces.

Serial signal

The serial interface, compliant to RS-232 standards, transmits signals one bit at a time, in and out in binary format. Adapters are available that convert serial ports into USB ports but require software installation.