Communication Protocols : Basics and Types with Functionality (2022)

In the digital world, communication protocols create many rules. For instance, on the Internet, the formation of these protocols can be done by groups such as the association of WWW (World Wide Web) or W3C & the IETF (Internet Engineering Task) assists in providing worldwide operations & limits different types of liability as well as vulnerabilities within these technologies. Communication protocol plays a key role when HTTP turns into HTTPS otherwise an extensive use of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate becomes the standard. Other types of protocols use the data packets within global network routes and sometimes its looks like particle physics. So, technology is advancing day by day, so different communication protocols are used in advanced networks. The Internet of Things (IoT) assures the latest developing communications protocols to connect the wide set of devices to a universal network. This article discusses an overview of communication protocols in embedded systems.

What are Communication Protocols?

The proper descriptions of digital message formats as well as rules are known communication protocols. The main function of these protocols is to exchange messages from one computer system to another. These are significant in telecommunications systems as they consistently send and receive messages. These protocols cover error detection & correction, signaling, and authentication. They can also explain the semantics, syntax & brings analog & digital communications together.

Communication Protocols : Basics and Types with Functionality (1)

The implementation of these protocols can be done within hardware as well as software. So communications protocols are available around thousand types which are used all over in analog & digital communications, so computer networks cannot be present without them.


  • Protocol: A set of rules and regulations is called a protocol.
  • Communication:Exchange of information from one system to another system with a medium is called communication.
  • Communication Protocol:A set of rules and regulations that allow two electronic devices to connect to exchange the data with one and another.

Why is Communication Protocol Important?

Communication protocols assist varied network devices to converse with each other by transmitting the analog signals, digital signals, different files & process the data from one device to other devices. These types of protocols are applicable in telecommunication & computer networks where suitable rules are executed to transmit information from source to destination. The most vital protocols within networking are TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) & User datagram protocol (UDP).

Types of Communication Protocols

There are two types of communication protocols which are classified below:

Communication Protocols : Basics and Types with Functionality (2)

  • Inter System Protocol
  • Intra System Protocol

Inter System Protocol

The inter-system protocol using to communicate the two different devices. Like communication between computer to microcontroller kit. The communication is done through an inter bus system.

(Video) Network Protocols & Communications (Part 1)

Communication Protocols : Basics and Types with Functionality (3)

The different categories of intersystem protocol mainly include the following.

  • UART Protocol
  • USART Protocol
  • USB Protocol

UART Protocol

UART stands for a universal asynchronous transmitter and receiver. UART Protocols is a serial communication with two wired protocols. The data cable signal lines are labeled as Rx and Tx. Serial communication is commonly used for transmitting and receiving the signal. It is transferred and receives the data serially bit by bit without class pulses. The UART takes bytes of data and sends the individual bits in a sequential manner.

UART is a half-duplex protocol. Half-duplex means transferring and receiving the data but not at the same time. Most of the controllers have hardware UART on board. It uses a single data line for transmitting and receiving the data. It has one start bit, 8-bit data and a one-stop bit mean the 8-bit data transfer one’s signal is high to low.

Ex: Emails, SMS, Walkie-talkie.

USART Protocol

USART stands for a universal synchronous and asynchronous transmitter and receiver. It is a serial communication of a two-wire protocol. The data cable signal lines are labeled as Rx and TX. This protocol is used to transmitting and receiving the data byte by byte along with the clock pulses. It is a full-duplex protocol that means transmitting and receiving data simultaneously to different board rates. Different devices communicate with microcontroller to this protocol.


USB Protocol

USB stands for universal serial bus. Again it is a serial communication of two-wire protocol. The data cable signal lines are labeled D+ and D-. This protocol is used to communicate with the system peripherals.USB protocol is used to send and receive the data serially to the host and peripheral devices.USB communication requires driver software that is based on the functionality of the system.USB devices can transfer data on the bus without any request on the host computer.

Now a day’s most devices are using this technique for communicating with USB protocol. Like a computer to communicate with an ARM controller using USB. USB transfer the data to different modes .first one is slow speed mode 10kbps to 100 kbps; the second one is full speed mode 500kbps to 10mbps, high-speed mode 25mbps to 400 Mbps.USB maximum cable length of 4 meters.

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Ex: Mouse, Keyboard, Hubs, switches, pen drive.

Differences Between the Inter System Protocols

The intersystem protocols mainly include UART, USART, and USB



The term UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Transmitter and ReceiverThe term USART stands for Universal Synchronous and Asynchronous Data Transmitter and ReceiverThe term USB stands for Universal Serial Bus
UART mainly includes two wire-based protocols like transmitter and receiverUSART is a two-wire protocol like Transmitter and ReceiverUSB is a two-wire protocol like D+ & D-
It transmits as well as receives pockets of data by byte without classes pulseIt transmits and receives a block of data through classes pulsesIt transmits and receives the data through clock pulses
UART is a half-duplex communicationUSART is a full-duplex communicationUSB is also full-duplex communication
UART is slow as compared to USARTUSART is slow as compared to USBIt is fast as compared to USART and UART

Intra System Protocol

The Intra system protocol is used to communicate the two devices within the circuit board. While using these intra system protocols, without going to intrasystem protocols we will expand the peripherals of the microcontroller. The circuit complexity and power consumption will be increased by using the intrasystem protocol. Using intra system protocols circuit complexity and power consumption, the cost is decreased and it is very secure to accessing the data.

Communication Protocols : Basics and Types with Functionality (4)

The different categories of intrasystem protocol mainly include the following.

  • I2C Protocol
  • SPI Protocol
  • CAN Protocol

I2C Protocol

I2C stands for the inter-integrated circuit and it requires only two wires connecting all peripherals to the microcontroller. I2C requires two wires SDA (serial data line) and SCL (serial clock line) to carry information between devices. It is a master to a slave communication protocol. Each slave has a unique address. The master device sends the address of the target slave device and reads/writes the flag. The address matches any slave device that the device is ON, the remaining slave devices are disabled mode.

Once the address is match communication proceed between the master and that slave device and transmitting and receiving the data. The transmitter sends 8-bit data, the receiver replies 1-bit of acknowledgment. When the communication is completed master issues the stop condition. The I2C bus was developed by Philips Semiconductors. Its original purpose is to provide an easy way to connect CPU to peripherals chips.

Peripheral devices in embedded systems are often connected to the microcontroller as memory-mapped devices. I2C requires only two wires for connecting all the peripherals to the microcontroller. These active wires, called SDA and SCL, are both bidirectional. SDA line is a serial data line and the SCA line is a serial clock line.

I2C Pull-up Resistors

(Video) Communication protocol-Types and Function

Why given the pull-up resistors in I2C SCL and SDA line.

  • Both SDA and SCL lines are open-drain drivers.
  • It can drive output low canot driver it high.
  • For the lines to be able to go high you must provide pull-up resistors

SPI Protocol

SPI stands for the serial peripheral interface. It is one of the serial communication protocol developed by Motorola. Sometimes SPI protocol is also called a 4-wire protocol. It requires four wires MOSI, MISO, SS, and SCLK.SPI protocol used to communicate the master and slave devices. The master first configures the clock using a frequency.

The master then selects the particular slave device for communication by pulling the chip select button. That particular device is selected and starts the communication between the master and that particular slave. The master selects only one slave at a time. It is a full-duplex communication protocol. Not limited to 8-bit words in the case of bit transferring.

CAN Protocol

CAN stands for the controller area network. It is a serial communication protocol. It requires two wires CAN High (H+) and CAN low (H-). It was developed by the Robert bosh company in 1985 for in-vehicle networks. It is based on a message-oriented transmission protocol.

Differences Between the Intra System Protocols

The intra system protocols mainly include I2C, SPI, and CAN



I2C is an inter-integrated circuitSPI stands for serial peripheral interfaceThe CAN stands for controller area network
It is implemented by PhilipsSPI is developed by MotorolaCAN is developed by Bosch
I2C is a half-duplex protocolSPI is a full-duplex protocolCAN is a full-duplex protocol
It is a two-wire protocol like SCL & SDLIt is a four-wire protocol like SCL, MISO, MOSI & SSIt is a two-wire protocol like CANH+ and CAN H-
It is a multi-master protocolIt is a single master protocolIt is a multi-master protocol
It is used in the circuit boardIt is used in the circuit boardIt is used in two circuit board

Communication Protocols in IoT

The IoT based devices are more susceptible to threats. So these security loopholes can be reduced by using the correct protocols. Communication protocols in IoT are types of communication that ensure the finest security toward the data being exchanged among the IoT connected devices.

The connection of these devices can be done through an IP network otherwise a non IP network but, there is a disparity within their power, range & memory used. The connection throughout IP networks is difficult & takes huge memory as well as power from these devices as the range is not a trouble. Alternatively, Bluetooth which is known as non-IP networks needs low power and memory however they have a limitation in the range.

The main benefits of IoT communication protocols are high quality, credibility, interoperability, innovation flexibility & global scalability. IoT protocols are available in two types mainly IoT network protocols and IoT data protocols.

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The list of Top 10 IoT Communication Protocols includes the following.

  • WiFi
  • SigFox
  • Bluetooth
  • LoRaWAN
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Z wave
  • Zigbee
  • OPC- UA
  • Cellular
  • MQTT

Data Communication Protocols

Data communication protocols are very significant for communication because they are used for understanding the networks or computers or devices to each other.

These types of protocols use typical rules as well as methods like a common language to interact with computers or networks to each other. For instance, if a user wants to send an e-mail to another, then the user will create the e-mail on his personal computer by including the details along with the message and attachments.
Once the user sends the e-mail, then immediately multiple actions can take place so that the receiver gets the email. The message moves over the network and reaches the recipient. These protocols provide the information on how the note will be enclosed so that it can move over the system, how the receiver computer can verify for errors, etc

PLC Communication Protocols

The following primary communication protocols are used for the PLC as well as other connections of the network which supports through different PLC software products. These protocols mainly depend on the basic three parts like baud rate, length of network & the number of nodes. The list of PLC communication protocols includes the following.

  • Profibus
  • Interbus
  • ControlNet
  • ProfiNet
  • CompoNet
  • DirectNet
  • Modbus
  • MelsecNet
  • EtherCAT
  • DF-1 Protocol
  • Optomux
  • Host Link Protocol
  • RAPIENet
  • therNet/IP
  • Mechatrolink
  • PPI- Point to Point
  • Ethernet Powerlink
  • Multi-Point Interface (MPI)
  • Data Highway (DH)
  • Actuator Sensor Interface (ASI)
  • DeviceNet
  • Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol (HART)
  • Ethernet Global Data (EGD)
  • Factory Interface Network Service Protocol (FINS)
  • Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP)
  • Recommended Standard (RS-232, RS- 422, and RS-485) Protocols
  • Bristol Standard Asynchronous Protocol (BSAP)
  • Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3)
  • Service Request Transport Protocol (SRTP)
  • Smart Distributed System Protocol (SDS)
  • Process Image Exchange Protocol (PIEP)

Characteristics of PLC Communication Protocols

The standard protocols are used once PLC modules are connected over the network. The different types these protocols mainly supports different speed, distance & the number of connecting devices.

  • Ethernet protocol baud rate is 100 Mb/s, length is Few Km and 255 nodes.
  • RS-485 baud rate is 10 Kb/s, the length is 1.2 Km, and 32 nodes
  • Profibus protocol baud rate is 5-12 Mb/s, the length is 15 Km and 127 nodes.
  • RS-232 baud rate is 19.2 Kb/s, the length is 10m and 1 node
  • MPI protocol baud rate is 19.2- 38.4 Kb/s, the length is 50 m and 32 nodes.
  • PC Adapter baud rate is 9600 Kb/s, length is 15 m, and 1 node
  • PPI protocol baud rate is 187.5 Kb/s, the length is 500 m, and 1 node.
  • USB Adapter baud rate is 57.6 Kb/s, the length is 10 m and 1sec
  • DH protocol baud rate is 230.4 Kb/s, the length is 3.048 Km, and 64 nodes
  • Device Net protocol braud rate is 500 Kb/s, the length is 0.487, and 64 nodes
  • Control Net protocol baud rate is5 Mb/s, the length is 30 Km

Communication Protocols in Cloud Computing

The cloud supports two communication protocols for communication as well as connection like MQTT and HTTP. The communication of these devices can be done through Cloud IoT Core across a bridge either the HTTP or the MQTT. These bridges are central components in Cloud IoT Core. Once you create a registry of a device, then you can choose protocols to allow HTTP, MQTT, etc. The standard protocol like MQTT is used frequently and it is supported through embedded devices. This protocol is common in the interactions of the machine to machine.

HTTP is a connectionless protocol, so devices do not maintain a connection to the cloud IoT core. As an alternative, they send requests as well as get responses. The protocols of cloud computing are a set of rules that permit two electronic elements to unite as well as exchange the data with each other. It is mainly used for communication, storage, encryption, networks, decryption, security, management of user login, etc. Some cloud computing protocols include

  • Gossip Protocol
  • MTP (Media Transfer Protocol)
  • CLNP (Connection Less Network Protocol)
  • CEE (Coverage Enhanced Ethernet Protocol)
  • SRP (State Routing Protocol)
  • SSHP (Secure Shell Protocol)
  • IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol)

Thus, this is all about an overview of communication protocols, types, differences between inter-system protocol and intrasystem protocol. Here is a question for you, what are Arduino communication protocols?

(Video) What is Protocol? full Explanation | TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, PPP and UDP Protocols

Comments are closed.


What are the types of communication protocols? ›

Types of Communications Internet Protocols (IP)
  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) – used for data transmission.
  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP) – used by programs to send short datagram messages.
  • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) – messages used for diagnostic or error-generating purposes.
25 May 2017

What is communication protocol Short answer? ›

Communication protocols allow different network devices to communicate with each other. They are used in both analog and digital communications and can be used for important processes, ranging from transferring files between devices to accessing the internet.

What is communication protocol with example? ›

A communications protocol is a set of formal rules describing how to transmit or exchange data, especially across a network. A standardised communications protocol is one that has been codified as a standard. Examples of these include WiFi, the Internet Protocol, and the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

What are the 4 types of protocol? ›

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Internet Protocol (IP) User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Post office Protocol (POP)

What are the main functions of protocols? ›

Protocols provide us with a medium and set of rules to establish communication between different devices for the exchange of data and other services. Protocols are needed in every field like society, science & technology, Data Communication, media, etc.

What are the basics of protocol? ›

A protocol, in general terms, might be described as a formal set of rules to govern interactions between two entities. Another way to think of them might be like shared languages. For example, if I'm speaking Inuktitut and you're speaking Swahili, our conversation likely won't be very fruitful.

What is the 3 types protocol? ›

There are three main types of network protocols. These include network management protocols, network communication protocols and network security protocols: Communication protocols include basic data communication tools like TCP/IP and HTTP.

What is a protocol Give 5 examples? ›

Among the most important sets of Internet protocols are TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), HTTPS (Secure HyperText Transmission Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), and DNS (Domain Name System).

What are the 7 protocols? ›

This layer uses following protocols: HTTP, SMTP, DHCP, FTP, Telnet, SNMP and SMPP.

What is protocol process? ›

Procedures should be done by protocol. A protocol defines a set of operational procedures to ensure that there is a well- defined way of doing a particular task or range of tasks often informed by past experience. It is a code of precedence.

What is protocol and explain its types? ›

Protocol Definition: It is a digital language through which we communicate with others on the Internet. protocol meaning is that it a set of mutually accepted and implemented rules at both ends of the communications channel for the proper exchange of information.

What is the most common communication protocol? ›

What is the most common communication protocol? Health Level Seven International. What is an EHR that continues to develop over the lifelong course of care? Longitudinal EHR.

What are the 5 elements of protocol? ›

Network communication protocol requires following elements :
  • Message encoding : ...
  • Message formatting and encapsulation : ...
  • Message size : ...
  • Message timing : ...
  • Message delivery options :
22 Jul 2022

What are the two types of protocol? ›

  • TCP/IP(Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol): These are a set of standard rules that allows different types of computers to communicate with each other. ...
  • SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol): These protocols are important for sending and distributing outgoing emails.
27 Oct 2022

How many communication protocols are there? ›

There are two types of communication protocols, based on their representation of the content being carried: text-based and binary.

What is an example of a protocol? ›

Protocols exist for several different applications. Examples include wired networking (e.g., Ethernet), wireless networking (e.g., 802.11ac), and Internet communication (e.g., IP). The Internet protocol suite, which is used for transmitting data over the Internet, contains dozens of protocols.

Why are protocols helpful? ›

Protocols for Consultation and Decision Making

Such protocols build trust as participants learn from each other and devise strategies and solutions collaboratively. In groups facing difficult challenges or struggling with conflict, protocols are an essential tool for mediation, embracing diversity, and overcoming fear.

Which protocol is used for Internet? ›

The Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of requirements for addressing and routing data on the Internet. IP can be used with several transport protocols, including TCP and UDP.

What are the characteristics of protocol? ›

A protocol is a set of mutually agreed upon rules that p y g p regiment the interactions between the communicating entities. Th k l f l The key elements of a protocol are: Syntax – defines the structure of information communicated, including the data format, the coding, and g g signal representations. exchanged.

What is protocol and uses? ›

In networking, a protocol is a set of rules for formatting and processing data. Network protocols are like a common language for computers. The computers within a network may use vastly different software and hardware; however, the use of protocols enables them to communicate with each other regardless.

What layer is DNS? ›

At a high level, the DNS protocol operates (using OSI model terminology) at the application level, also known as Layer 7. This layer is shared by HTTP, POP3, SMTP, and a host of other protocols used to communicate across an IP network.

Why do you mean by protocol? ›

A protocol is a set of rules and guidelines for communicating data. Rules are defined for each step and process during communication between two or more computers. Networks have to follow these rules to successfully transmit data.

Is a protocol a rule? ›

A protocol is a rule which describes how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines.

How are protocols developed? ›

A protocol is the core document that describes the objectives, design, methodology, statistical considerations, and organisation of a clinical trial. The protocol starts by providing information on the background and rationale of the study, then proceeds to outline the plan of the trial.

How many types of protocols are they and give examples? ›

Generally speaking, there are three types of protocols in networking -- communication, such as Ethernet; management, such as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP); and security, such as Secure Shell, or SSH.

Which is the fastest communication protocol? ›

SPI speed, the fastest communication protocol for sending data over short distances from the two protocols is SPI. SPI protocol is best suited for low-power applications requiring high speed. The high-speed signals of an SPI interface limit its data transfer only over short distances.

What protocol is used for calls? ›

Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) technology allows users to make "telephone calls" through Internet connections instead of through analog telephone lines, which renders these calls effectively free wherever the Internet is available.

Who makes protocol? ›

Handcrafted in Nicaragua by famed cigar blender, Erik Espinosa at his La Zona factory, Protocol was launched nationally in 2015 to impressive reviews. Since then, the company has produced three selections: Protocol, Probable Cause, and Themis, each identified by blue, red, and gold bands, respectively.

What are the main three components of a protocol? ›

The key elements of a protocol are syntax, semantics and timing.

What are the best protocols? ›

Many VPN experts recommend OpenVPN as the most secure protocol. It uses 256-bit encryption as a default but also offers other ciphers such as 3DES (triple data encryption standard), Blowfish, CAST-128, and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).

What are the 3 communication protocols? ›

There are three main types of network protocols. These include network management protocols, network communication protocols and network security protocols: Communication protocols include basic data communication tools like TCP/IP and HTTP.

What are the 4 types of communication settings? ›

4 Types of communication
  • Non-verbal communication. It is interesting to note that non-verbal communication is used both intentionally and unintentionally. ...
  • Verbal communication. When we speak, we are communicating much more than just the content of our words. ...
  • Written communication. ...
  • Visual communication.
19 Jan 2021

What are the three elements of protocol? ›

The key elements of a protocol are syntax, semantics and timing.


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