What is Centronics Interface?
The Centronics interface is a standard I / O interface that was developed in the 1970s for connecting printers and other devices. It was developed by the Centronics printing company, which no longer exists. The Centronics interface, also known as the parallel port, has been the standard for connecting printers to PCs for decades.
The technology developed by the Centronics interface included a number of versions of the parallel interface, including the ECP (Extended Capabilities Parallel) and EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port) versions. The technology required a 25-pin connector in which up to 17 wires were used in the specification and bidirectional communication was possible in the extended versions such as ECP and EPP. Today the Centronics interface has been largely replaced by the universal serial bus (USB). In most cases, many manufacturers have completely omitted the parallel interface. However, a USB to parallel port adapter is available for PCs without a parallel port. These can be used for parallel printers and other peripheral devices with a parallel interface.
The Centronics interface is also referred to as the Centronics interface, Centronics parallel interface, parallel interface or printer interface.
The first parallel port for printers was the Centronics Model 101, which transmitted data with eight bits each. Later, parallel ports became bidirectional and were used for printers and input devices.
The original Centronics Model 101 was inexpensive and very advanced for its time. It had a print speed of 125 characters per second and weighed 155 pounds. The interface used a parallel Centronics port, but an RS-232 serial interface was optional. In the original Centronics interface, data only flowed in one direction but used eight parallel data lines, which was a technological advance of the day. The serial communication was sent sequentially, so theoretically the parallel port was eight times faster when in reality the speed was at most three times faster.
When the IEEE 1284 standard was introduced in 1994, the logic voltages, the length of the cables, and the interface were all standardized. The five standards of IEEE 1284 were specified to support forward, reverse, or bidirectional data transmission. The five operating modes are:
- Extended Capacity Port (ECP) mode
- Extended parallel port mode (EPP)
- Byte mode
- Nibble mode
- Compatibility (standard parallel port or SPP) mode