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Serial Port Interface

Communication using the serial port interface

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
readbinblockRead one binblock of data from serial port
writeWrite data to serial port
writelineWrite line of ASCII data to serial port
writebinblockWrite one binblock of data to serial port
writereadWrite command to serial port and read response
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


Query InstrumentQuery or read instrument data
To InstrumentSend simulation data to instrument
Serial ConfigurationConfigure parameters for serial port
Serial Receive Receive binary data over serial port
Serial SendSend binary data over serial port


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.


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.

Featured Examples