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Introduced in the mids, IBM’s BISYNC protocol was designed to provide a BISYNC (or BSC) is a half duplex protocol—data may be transmitted in both. BISYNC (BSC) Abbrev. for binary synchronous communications (protocol). A line protocol created by IBM for synchronized communication between mainframe. Computer Networks – Framing Protocols (BISYNC, PPP, DDCMP, HDLC).

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A Short History Lesson Bisync is an acronym shortened from “binary synchronous”. Bisync is one of the names commonly used when referring to a synchronous communications protocol introduced by IBM back in with the introduction of a product called the Profocol Transmission Control Unit. The full name of the protocol is the “Binary Synchronous Communication” protocol.

What Is Binary Synchronous (Bisync) Protocol?

This is usually abbreviated bisjnc “BSC”. Whenever you see the terms “bisync” and “BSC” in conjunction with communications protocols, they are referring to the same thing.

Furthermore, over the years, other terms have come into use and are often used interchangeably with bisync and BSC. While technically these terms may be inaccurate, they do have a practical basis and convey meaning.

These terminals used punch cards and consisted of a card reader, a card punch, and a line printer. These terminals used the bisync protocol to transmit and receive data with an Bisnc mainframe computer. The terminal was a later model and used a more robust version of the bisync protocol — hence the terms ” bisync” vs.


Virtually all bisync in use today conforms with the version. So, what does this ancient protocol and these terminals have to do with today’s PC and Internet dominated world?

Binary Synchronous Communications

The reason amounts to something of a computing history lesson. While it is true that IBM and terminals are museum pieces today, the underlying bisync protocol became the defacto standard file transfer protocol for a wide array of computing devices in the ‘s and ‘s.

Much like Zmodem and FTP today, if you needed to get a file from one machine to another during that time, very often the bisync protocol was used. And bisync wasn’t strictly used in “pure” computers. Prrotocol bisync protocol ended up in ATM machines, check sorting machines, radar systems, cash registers, and countless other devices. This massive array of hardware does not disappear overnight. There is still a huge installed base of bisync-equipped machinery in Bisnc America and to a lesser extent in the rest of the world.

If somehow all of the bisync interconnected machines in the world were to stop all at once, the results would be catastrophic.

Many banks would cease to function. Some air traffic control systems would collapse. Many of the point-of-sale systems in retail stores prtocol fail. Many credit and debit cards would become useless.


EDI electronic data interchange networks that manage much of the business-to-business commerce would crash, We don’t mean to suggest that there would be a total collapse of all, or even most, of these systems but nonetheless, bisync is still a vital link in the bisynv of the world’s computer infrastructure.

Binary Synchronous Communications – Wikipedia

Bisync is dying away, Slowly. This lead directly to the IBM x terminal which was a successor to the — a diskette drive was added and bisync was replaced with a new protocol compatible with SNA. This abandonment, however, did not erase the bisync protocol nor its huge installed base. But it did open the door for specialty companies, prohocol Serengeti Systems, to expand into this niche market.

To some, it is remarkable that anything computer related first used nearly fourty years ago, could still be in use today. New equipment relying solely on bisync connectivity probably has not been manufactured in more than a decade.

Like the buggy whip, one day bisync will pass into history. But, we can assure you that no one at Serengeti Systems is holding their breath just yet Call or e-mail us.