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Serial and USB Communication

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 with serial port
configureCallbackSet callback function and trigger condition for communication with serial port device
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
flushClear serial port device buffers
getpinstatusGet serial pin status
setRTSSet serial RTS pin
setDTRSet serial DTR pin


Serial ExplorerCommunicate with devices connected to serial port
Hardware ManagerDiscover and get started with your hardware



Troubleshooting Serial Port Interface

Troubleshoot the Serial Port interface.

Resolve Serial Port Connection Errors

Troubleshoot connecting to a serial port device.

Serialport Warning - Unable to Read All Data

Try these remedies when you receive some data, and you get the warning message: 'serialport' unable to read all requested data.

Serialport Warning - Unable to Read Any Data

Try these remedies when you receive no data, and you get the warning message: 'serialport' unable to read any data.