Flow Control

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Flow Control

Flow control provides a mechanism for suspending transmission while one device is busy or for some reason cannot further communicate. The DTE and DCE must agree on the flow control mechanism used for a communication session. There are two types of flow control: hardware and software.


Hardware Flow Control

Uses voltage signals on the RS232 status lines RTS / DTR (set by DTE) and CTS / DSR (set by DCE)  to control the transmission and reception of data. See also RS232 pinout.


Software Flow Control

Uses dedicated ASCII control characters (XON / XOFF) to control data transmission. Software flow control requires text-based communication data or other data that does not contain any XON or XOFF characters.