The Electronic Industries Association (EIA) is a trade organization headquartered in Washington, DC, which represents most major US electronics industry manufacturers. Since its founding in 1924, the EIA Engineering Department has published over 400 documents related to standards.

In the area of communications, the EIA established its Technical Committee TR-30 in 1962. The primary emphasis of this committee is on the development and maintenance of interface standards governing the attachment of data terminal equipment (DTE); such as terminals and computer ports, to data communications equipment (DCE), such as modems and data service units.

TR-30 committee standards activities include the development of the ubiquitous RS-232 interface standard, which describes the operation of a 25-pin conductor which is the most commonly used physical interface for connecting DTE to DCE.

Two other commonly known EIA standards and one emerging standard are RS366A, RS-449 and RS-530. RS-366 describes the interface used to connect terminal devices to automatic calling units; RS-449 was originally intended to replace the RS-232 interface due to its ability to extend the cabling distance between devices, and RS-530 may eventually evolve as a replacement for both RS-232 and RS-449, as it eliminates many objections to RS-449 that inhibited its adoption.

The TR-30 committee works closely with both ANSI Technical Committee X3S3 and with groups within the Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph (CCITT) which was renamed the International Telecommunications Union (it has its Telecommunications Standardization
Sector (ITU-T)).

In fact, the ITU-T V.24 standard is basically identical to the EIA RS-232 standard, resulting in hundreds of communications vendors designing RS-232/V.24 compatible equipment. As a result of the widespread acceptance of the RS-232/V.24 interface standard, a cable containing up to 25 conductors with a predefined set of connectors can be used to cable most DTEs to DCEs.

Even though there are exceptions to this interface standard, this standard has greatly facilitated the manufacture of communications products, such as terminals, computer ports, modems and data service units that are physically compatible with one another and which can be easily cabled to one another.

Another important EIA standard resulted from the joint efforts of the EIA and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), known as EIA/TIA-568.

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