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Parallel communication is a process that is utilized to make more efficient use of resources by managing communication processes together rather than separately. This approach can often make it easier to handle communication channels that involve relatively short distances in a manner that makes better use of the resources that support the communication effort. Originally developed as an efficient solution for one-way communication, parallel communication today allows for both inbound and outbound high-speed communications between two points.
As a method that involves wiring to manage the process of sending and receiving different types of data, parallel communication normally devotes some wires to outbound transmissions and others to inbound transmissions. The proximity of the wiring is usually very close, with the collection of wires running parallel to one another. When the signal used for the transmissions is strong, the end result is a high level of clarity in voice transmissions as well as the quick transference of other data without any real delays. Since the quality of the signal will decrease with distance, the use of this method for transferring any type of data is usually kept to a minimum.
At the same time, weak signals or damaged wires involved in the process of parallel communication can sometimes lead to a phenomenon known as crosstalk, in which a signal may bleed into a different wire and corrupt the communication. Crosstalk is sometimes found in audio conference calls in which this type of poor connection results in crosstalk bleeding from one conference to another. Fortunately, monitoring of the trunks or lines used for each call can normally isolate the crosstalk to a single line, disconnect it from the conference and then reconnect the attendee using a different trunk, eliminating the problem.
Along with voice communications, parallel communication also occurs with the transference of data. A common example has to do with sending data to a printer. When the process is initiated, the software driving the communication between a hard drive and a printer aids in transmitting the data in a stable form that is recognized by the printer. If the communication is successful, the printer transmits what is sometimes referred to as a handshake, essentially signaling the hard drive that the receipt of the data was complete and successful. From there, the printer will proceed to print out the information sent. When this process is working properly, the process of parallel communication is completed within seconds.