What Is a Dell PCI Serial Port?
By Ian Brown
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.
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.
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 The PCI connector superseded the ISA connector.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
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 The serial port has now been replaced by USB and Firewire interfaces.
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.
Ian Brown began writing in 1970. He has over 26 years of writing experience within the education system, including reporting, creating syllabi and formulating policy documents. He graduated from the University of London with his teaching degree.