USB to Serial Cable-Application

CP2102 Chipset
April 10, 2014

A USB adapter is a type of protocol converter which is used for converting USB data signals to and from other communications standards. Commonly, USB adaptors are used to convert USB data to standard serial port data and vice versa. Most commonly the USB data signals are converted to either RS232, RS485, RS422, or TTL-level UART serial data.

Uses:
USB to serial RS232 adapters are often used with consumer, commercial and industrial applications and USB to serial RS485/RS422 adapters are usually mainly used only with industrial applications. Currently, USB to TTL-level UART converters are used extensively by students and hobbyist as they can be directly interfaced to microcontroller.

Adapters for converting USB to other standard or proprietary protocols also exist; however, these are usually not referred to as a serial adapter.

The primary application scenario is to enable USB based computers to access and communicate with serial devices featuring D-Sub (usually DB9 or DB25) connectors or screw terminals, where security of the data transmission is not generally an issue.

USB serial adapters can be isolated or non-isolated. The isolated version has opto-couplers and/or surge suppressors to prevent static electricity or other high-voltage surges to enter the data lines thereby preventing data loss and damage to the adapter and connected serial device. The non-isolated version has no protection against static electricity or voltage surges, which is why this version is usually recommended for only non-critical applications and at short communication ranges.

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