In a network, a wire protocol is the mechanism for transmitting data from point a to point b. The term is a bit confusing, because it sounds like layer 1 of the network, which physically places the bits "onto the wire." In some cases, it may refer to layer 1; however, it generally refers to higher layers, including Ethernet and ATM (layer 2) and even higher layer distributed object protocols such as SOAP, CORBA or RMI. See OSI model
, communications protocol
, data link protocol
and distributed objects
In an electronic system, a wire protocol refers to the control signals (start and stop data transfer) and architecture (serial, parallel, etc.) of the bus or channel.