Serial Port Devices

Read and write to devices connected to a serial port

Serial communication is the most common low-level protocol for communicating between two or more devices. Normally, one device is a computer, while the other device can be a modem, a printer, Arduino® hardware, another computer, or a scientific instrument such as an oscilloscope or a function generator. For many serial port applications, you can communicate with your instrument without detailed knowledge of how the serial port works. Communication through a serial port is established with a serialport object, which you create in the MATLAB® workspace. For information about creating a serialport object, see Create Serial Port Object.

Before you can write or read data, the serialport object and the instrument must have identical communication settings. For information, see Configure Serial Port Communication Settings.


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serialportlistList of serial ports connected to your system
serialportConnection to serial port
configureTerminatorSet terminator for ASCII string communication on serial port
configureCallbackSet serial port callback function and trigger
readRead data from serial port
readlineRead line of ASCII string data from serial port
writeWrite data to serial port
writelineWrite line of ASCII data to serial port
flushFlush serial port buffers
getpinstatusGet serial pin status
setRTSSet serial RTS pin
setDTRSet serial DTR pin


Serial Port Overview

Basic features of serial port communication.

Create Serial Port Object

Establish a connection between MATLAB and the device using the serial port.

Configure Serial Port Communication Settings

Set properties associated with the device baud rate and serial data format.

Write and Read Serial Port Data

Write and read both text and binary data with a serial port device.

Use Callbacks for Serial Port Communication

Enhance instrument communication by executing a callback function when a specified event occurs on the device.

Use Serial Port Control Pins

Signal the presence of connected devices and control the flow of data using control pins.

Transition Your Code to serialport Interface

Connect to serial port devices using serialport instead of serial.

Featured Examples