Enhanced Capabilities Port (ECP)

Jointly developed by Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, which is why Microsoft sings its praises so much. ECP offers improved performance for the parallel port and requires special hardware logic. Its purpose is to support attachment to a very high performance printer. ECP mode requires a Direct Memory Address (DMA) channel and as a result, conflicts can occur with other devices requiring DMA. ECP is included in IEEE 1284 and most new PCs will support it. ECP mode can be changed to EPP mode in the BIOS if required.