Browse Definitions:
Definition

IEEE 1284 parallel interface standard

The IEEE 1284 parallel interface standard is the prevalent standard for connecting a computer to a printer or certain other devices over a parallel (eight bits of data at a time) physical and electrical interface . The physical connection is similar to the older Centronics interface, which it continues to support. Whereas the Centronics interface only allowed data to flow in one direction, from computer to peripheral, IEEE 1284 also supports bi-directional data flow.

When the Centronics parallel interface was first developed, the main peripheral was the printer. Since then, portable disk drives, tape drives, and CD-ROM players are among devices that have adopted the parallel interface. These new uses caused manufacturers to look at new ways to make the Centronics parallel interface better. In 1991, Lexmark, IBM, Texas instruments, and others met to discuss a standard that would offer more speed and bi-directional communication. Their effort and the sponsorship of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ) resulted in the IEEE 1284 committee. The IEEE 1284 standard was approved for release in March, 1994.

The IEEE 1284 standard specifies five modes of operation, each mode providing data transfer in either the forward direction (computer to peripheral), backward direction (peripheral to computer), or bi-directional (one direction at a time).

  • Compatibility mode is the original Centronics parallel interface and intended for use with dot matrix printers and older laser printers. The compatibility mode can be combined with the nibble mode for bi-directional data transfer.
  • Nibble mode allows data transfer back to the computer. The nibble mode uses the status lines to send 2 nibble (4-bit units) of data to the computer in two data transfer cycles. This mode is best used with printers.
  • Byte mode uses software drivers to disable the drivers that control the data lines in order for data to be sent from the printer to the computer. The data is sent at the same speed as when data is sent from the computer to the printer. One byte of data is transferred instead of the two data cycles required by the nibble mode.
  • ECP mode (Enhanced Capability Port mode) is an advanced bi-directional mode for use with printers and scanners. It allows data compression for images, FIFO (first in, first out) for items in a queue , and high-speed, bi-directional communication. Data transfer occurs at two to four megabytes per second. An advanced feature is channel addressing. This is used for multifunction devices such as printer/fax/modem devices. For example, if a printer/fax/modem device needs to print and send data over the modem at the same time, the channel address software driver of the ECP mode assigns a new channel to the modem so that both devices can work simultaneously.
  • EPP mode (Enhanced Parallel Port mode) was designed by Intel, Xircom, and Zenith Data Systems to provide a high-performance parallel interface that could also be used with the standard interface. EPP mode was adopted as part of the IEEE 1284 standard. The EPP mode uses data cycles that transfer data between the computer and the peripheral and address cycles that assign address, channel, or command information. This allows data transfer speeds of 500 kilobytes to 2 megabytes per second, depending on the speed of the slowest interface. The EPP mode is bi-directional. It is suited for network adapters, data acquisition, portable hard drives, and other devices that need speed.
The computer must determine what the capabilities of the attached peripheral are and which mode to utilize. The concept developed to determine these factors is called negotiation. Negotiation is a sequence of events on the parallel port interface that determines which IEEE 1284 modes the device can handle. An older device will not respond to the negotiation sequence and compatibility mode is selected to operate that device. A newer device will respond to the negotiation sequence and a more advanced mode can be set.
This was last updated in August 2006

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's ...

SearchSecurity

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

SearchHealthIT

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

  • telemedicine

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • data deduplication

    Deduplication retains one unique data instance to reduce storage and bandwidth consumed by remote backups, replication and ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close