Serial Port Drivers (Compact 2013)


Learn about adding support for serial port drivers to the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 OS, plus links to references and samples.

The serial port driver handles any I/O devices that behave like serial ports, including those based on 16450 and 16550 universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter (UART) chips, and those that use direct memory access (DMA).

You can use the serial port driver to do the following:

  • Open, close, and manipulate serial ports.
  • Transmit and receive data.
  • Manage the serial port connection.

You can use two different methods to create drivers for serial devices:

  • Create a stream interface driver dynamic-link library (DLL) that presents high-level information from the device to user applications.
  • Have the applications that use the serial device interpret the device data directly.

To enable serial port driver support in your Windows Embedded Compact-based OS design, you can select from one of the serial port driver catalog items provided with Windows Embedded Compact, or you can develop a customized serial port driver to enable Windows Embedded Compact to support a custom serial device.

To add this feature to your OS, see Serial Port Driver Catalog Items.

For reference information, see Serial Port Driver Reference.

Sample application code is available at the following locations.


Lower layer.


Upper layer that addresses transmission performance in the Windows CE .NET 4.2 and earlier serial port driver upper layer, but requires some modifications to existing lower layers.


Sample installable ISR for the SER16550 serial library.


Serial driver PDD 16550 common code.


Library for supporting 16550-compatible UARTs is included. The lower layers use this.


Serial driver PDD common code.


USB function serial client driver

For information about Windows Embedded Compact Test Kit (CTK) tests that apply to this type of driver, see Serial Port Driver BVT.

Other Resources

Device Drivers