Modbus is a simple data communications protocol first introduced by Modicon in 1979. For several years, it has been used as a programmable logic controller (PCMC) for use with the programmable logic relays and microchips that make up the brains of many industrial electronic instruments.

However, Modbus was not originally developed to be used with computers. It was designed for use in medical applications requiring communications between multiple devices. This led to the team lead by Remo Modica working at the Italian electronics giant IMI to develop the technology into a standard protocol used across various electronic instruments.


Modbus has evolved over the years to become one of the most widely used and versatile protocols in use today. For example, Modbus can be used for point-to-point communication over a local area network (LAN). High-speed data communication over a GSM /GPRS network, or any application that requires a secure point-to-point connection. Modbus can also be used for voice and data communication over an IP network or other personal network. Modbus can be controlled from a modem or a PC using specialized software.

The basic purpose of Modbus is to provide a reliable transport layer between input and output signals used in communication systems. It makes possible the fast exchange of data between modules and guarantees that the exchanged data’s integrity and speed are within acceptable levels.

The core reason for the wide acceptance of Modbus as a strong low-cost communication protocol is the flexibility provided by the underlying protocols and the performance comparable to today’s more advanced communication protocols like SIP, HTTP, SMTP, and FTP. The underlying Modbus technology is based on a simple data model. Where each device has at least one input and at most two output connections.

Uses of Modbus

Modbus is used to connect a single unit to another without the necessity of a different device. This makes it a perfect choice for applications where the primary machine is a desktop computer. With the use of a USB-connected Modbus adapter. It is possible to turn a regular PC into a portable personal computer with the possibility of expandable memory and other beneficial USB ports.

The convenience provided by Modbus is probably what attracts most of its users to it. Connecting a single item such as a digital camera to a computer via Modbus is much easier and more compact than the process of connecting the same units to host computers. Additionally, when used in conjunction with the optional USB hub. It becomes possible to connect various devices to a single computer.

It can also transmit data in small sums, which makes it a very viable choice for low power consumption systems. In addition, it has a lower cost of operation when compared to other similar technologies such as ATM and Bluetooth.

Because it is entirely data-based, Modbus is an ideal communication solution for various business applications. It is especially well suited for use in medical and manufacturing facilities. With the help of a USB-connected Modbus adapter, one can easily send data from a laptop or other portable device attached to the person carrying the device.

Manufacturers who use this technology find that their device requires less power to maintain as they do not need to maintain any form of data connection. They also have the advantage of eliminating the potential for costly interference with other electronic devices when the signal strength is high enough to transmit without additional sources.

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