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What is the difference between RS232 and RS485 serial interface?

There are many kinds of serial interfaces in the market today. Two of the oldest serial interfaces are RS232 and RS485. Both RS232 and RS485 are widely used in many applications.


RS-232 is best for short-distance low-speed requirements. It is simple and low cost, and plenty of components like line drivers and receivers, UARTs, and connectors are available to build the interface. RS-232 only allows for one transmitter and one receiver on each line. RS-232 also uses a Full-Duplex transmission method


The RS-485 is for higher speeds over longer ranges or if duplex networking capability is required. Again, many standard parts are available to create the interface. RS-485 was made to address the multi-drop limitation of RS-422, allowing up to 32 devices to communicate through the same data line. Any of the slave devices on an RS-485 bus can communicate with any other 32 slave devices without going through a master device.


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