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Explain Ethernet – a Communication Protocol

All the computer networking technologies working for the local area networks or LANs together constitute a family called Ethernet.
– The concept was commercialized in the year of 1980 though it achieved standardization in the year of 1985.
– The corresponding standard is IEEE 802.3.
– A number of wired LAN technologies have been replaced by the Ethernet.
– There are a number of signaling and wiring variants concerning the OSI physical layer that are in use with the Ethernet.
– All of these constitute the Ethernet standards.
– A coaxial cable was used by the first Ethernet 10BASE5 as a shared medium.
– Later, the twisted pair cables and optic fibers replaced this coaxial connection.
– However, these optic fibers and twisted pairs alone did not helped, one has to use switches and hubs.
– A periodic increase 10 MBPS to 100 GBPS was recorded in the data rates.
– The stream of the data is divided in to smaller units of data called the frames by the systems that communicate using Ethernet.
– Each frame consists of the following three things:
1. Source address
2. Destination address
3. Error checking data
– The error checking data is added so that the correctness of the transmitted data could be verified.
– According to the OSI model, Ethernet should serve up to the data link layer and inclusive of that.
– Since the day of its commercial release, Ethernet has maintained good compatibility to a great degree.
– Certain features such as the Ethernet frame format, 48 – bit MAC address etc. are known to affect the other networking protocols.
– The inspiration for the development of the Ethernet was achieved from ALOHAnet.
– Later, the Ethernet development took place between the years 1973 and 1974 at the XeroxPARC.
– Initially two large proprietary systems namely token bus and token ring gave a tough competition to Ethernet.
– However, these two protocols were taken over by Ethernet due to its ability to adapt to the realities of the market and less expensive and ubiquitous wiring.
– By the year 1980, the Ethernet was probably the most widely used network technology all over the world.
– Since then the Ethernet has been continuously evolving in order to keep up with the changing requirements of the market and bandwidth.
– It is not just the computers that can be connected through this technology, even other types of personal devices and appliances can be connected using Ethernet.
– A number of industrial applications also use it and now the legacy data transmission systems used in the telecommunications have become outdated.
– The project for standardizing the LAN was started by IEEE in the year of 1980.
– Improvements were made to Ethernet to make it work with higher bandwidths, different media access control methods and other physical media.
– The part of the coaxial cable was played by the point – to – point links in Ethernet.
– This had a number of other added advantages such as:
1. Reduced cost of installation
2. Increase in the reliability
3. Improvement in the management
4. Trouble shooting

How is the communication established?

– The communication between two Ethernet stations is accomplished by sending and receiving the data packets.
– A 48 – bit MAC address is given to every Ethernet station.
– This MAC address is required for specifying both the source and the destination of all the data packets.
– Link level connections are defined by the Ethernet using both the source and destination addresses.
– Whenever a transmitted message is received, the receiver determines the correctness of the received data using the destination address.
– Packets that are addressed to the Ethernet stations are accepted by the network interfaces.
– Because of the frame type, the Ethernet frames are said to be the self – identifying ones.
– Using such frames, it becomes possible to mix a number of different protocols.
– One peculiar thing about Ethernet is that the same frame format has been used by all the generations of the Ethernet.
– Frames are connected to each other through bridging.

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