When referring to compatibility, it generally means that different components, systems or devices can work together seamlessly without the need for additional modifications or adjustments.
In the context of electronic components such as ICs, compatibility often refers to the pinout and electrical specifications of the component.
For example, an IC that is pin-compatible with the MAX232 can be used as a direct replacement in a circuit because it has the same pin configuration and electrical specifications.
However, compatibility can also refer to software compatibility, where different systems or devices can work together without the need for additional software or driver changes.
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