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Communications protocols form an integral part of almost every electronic device and product design, whether its high speed chip-to-chip messages being sent around a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) or long-distance wireless control / monitoring of remote units. Many embedded systems contain multiple communication buses that have various roles and features, designed to interface between different pieces of hardware and software and all playing their essential part in making the device function. Different communications interfaces have particular benefits and weaknesses, and choosing an appropriate comms protocol is essential when designing any electronic product.

In this Technology Introduction, CircuitWorx’s electronics design experts guide you through the maze of acronyms and give you the essential low-down on some of the communications interfaces commonly found in electronic products and embedded systems today, from ubiquitous wired protocols such as USB and Ethernet to the increasingly common wireless technologies of WiFi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee.