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IEEE Standard For Ethernet Communication

Updated on December 14, 2012

It is important for networking companies and professionals to be conversant with the IEEE standard for Ethernet communication. Compliance with these rules ensure that communication in the industry is standardized, thereby increasing efficiency. The code for these standards start with 802.

The institute of electrical and electronics engineers 802.3 group of standards is very common in networking. It dictates the type of physical layer and MAC (media access control) of data link layers. It is only applicable to hard wired networks for LAN (local area networks). It also has some WAN applications.

Under these rules, different types of hubs, routers, switches and cables are used for different networking applications. Both copper cables and fiber optic cables can be used in networking under these standards. Other groups of standards also exist including 802.2 and 802.3 among others.

Since its introduction in 1980 and subsequent standardization in 1985, Ethernet has gradually phased out traditional hard-wired LAN technologies. In this technology, data is split into smaller bits and transmitted as frames. The data units contain the addresses for destinations and sources. The frames are used to reconstruct the actual data signal at the destination.

Initially, existing IEEE standards allowed for networks to be established using coaxial cables. Later on, twisted pairs became very popular. Nowadays, fiber optic cables have become the industry standard because of their bandwidth. Fiber optic cables use light beams to transmit data within a LAN or WAN.

The IEEE standard for Ethernet communication has evolved quite considerably over the last two decades. This can be attributed largely to the increased need for a bigger bandwidth in the market. The need to increase reliability, reduce installation costs and improve troubleshooting capabilities also contributed to the adoption of these standards by the institute of electrical and electronics engineers. It is important to note that standards are dynamic, so existing standards are most likely going to be phased out in the future by new innovations.


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