In telecommunication and computer science, parallel communication is a method of sending several data signals simultaneously over several parallel channels. It contrasts with serial communication; this distinction is one way of characterizing a communications link.
The basic difference between a parallel and a serial communication channel is the number of distinct wires or strands at the physical layer used for simultaneous transmission from a device. Parallel communication implies more than one such wire/strand, in addition to a ground connection. An 8-bit parallel channel transmits eight bits (or a byte) simultaneously. A serial channel would transmit those bits one at a time. If both operated at the same clock speed, the parallel channel would be eight times faster. A parallel channel will generally have additional control signals such as a clock, to indicate that the data is valid, and possibly other signals for handshaking and directional control of data transmission.