Networking Microcontrollers with Serial Ports

Connecting embedded controllers with a network allows distributed control and data acquisition. Current applications are quite diverse, and include manufacturing automation, retail point-of-sale systems, medical diagnostic equipment, and HVAC. Embedded controllers can be networked in several different ways. Some embedded controllers include LAN ICs. Others use special microcontrollers which have sophisticated built-in networking features. But in many applications, serial ports can be used for networking. Low cost is the principal reason why serial ports are often used to network embedded controllers. Most microcontrollers have built-in serial ports, so that very little extra hardware is required. This paper discusses serial-port networking protocols for embedded controllers, with emphasis on 9-bit protocols.

Presented at Embedded Systems Conference 1993
Download the paper here:
ESC_1993_Vol1_Page25_Butler_Networking Microcontrollers with Serial Ports.pdf

Jim Butler is a software engineer at Cimetrics Technology. Since recieving his BS and MS from MIT, he has worked on a variety of software projects, culminating in the design of Cimetrics Technology’s 9-Bit Serial Protocol and its implementation on several platforms. In addition, Butler has written two articles and presented two papers on embedded controller networks, and has taught in the math & computer science department at Ithaca College.