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I *think* serial connects directly to UART?
Generically to transfer data, say 8bits: parallel requires 8 wires, one for each bit of the data so that all 8bits are sent at the same time. serial requires only one wire and each of the 8bits is send one at a time.
Although parallel is faster
You'll still see parallel used when transferring huge amounts of data in specialized high-speed systems.
USB will be the new serial
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