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RS422 (differential) was designed for greater distances and higher Baud rates than RS232. Data rates of up to 100K bits / second and distances up to 4000 Ft. can be accommodated with RS422. RS422 is also specified for multi-drop (party-line) applications where only one driver is connected to, and transmits on, a "bus" of up to 10 receivers.
RS485 meets the requirements for a truly multi-point communications network, and the standard specifies up to 32 drivers and 32 receivers on a single (2-wire) bus.