Definition - What does IEEE 488 (GPIB) mean?

IEEE 488 is a digital communications bus specification invented by Hewlett Packard and used to connect short range communication devices. This term is also known as the general purpose interface bus (GPIB) or the Hewlett Packard interface bus (HP-IB).

Techopedia explains IEEE 488 (GPIB)

In the 1960s, Hewlett Packard developed IEEE 488 to easily interconnect controllers and instruments. As a short range communication bus, IEEE 488 was easy to connect and configure. The IEEE 488 has a 24-pin connector and is used for double headed design. Both ends of the cable are used, male on one side and female on other side. The IEEE 488 has 16 signal lines. Eight lines are dedicated for bi-directional communication, five lines are used for bus management. The remaining three lines are dedicated for handshakes. This allows 15 devices to be shared over a single physical bus.

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