Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University

Glossary

Filter:
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All
B
B
B1
B2
B3
BBS
BCC
BCD
BCI
Bd
BER
Bit
BIU
BPI
BPS
BR
BSA
BSE
Bug
Bus
BW
Bit Bang*
  • n. Transmission of data on a serial line, when accomplished by rapidly tweaking a single output bit, in software, at the appropriate times. The technique is a simple loop with eight OUT and SHIFT instruction pairs for each byte. Input is more interesting. And full duplex (doing input and output at the same time) is one way to separate the real hackers from the wannabees. Bit bang was used on certain early models of Prime computers, presumably when UARTs were too expensive, and on archaic Z80 micros with a Zilog PIO but no SIO. In an interesting instance of the cycle of reincarnation, this technique is now (1991) coming back into use on some RISC architectures because it consumes such an infinitesimal part of the processor that it actually makes sense not to have a UART.