The evolution of Ethernet is fascinating. More than 40 years ago, Robert Metcalfe was asked to create a local area network (LAN) for the storied Palo Alto Research Center. The result of Metcalfe’s innovative work would be standardized as Ethernet – an adaptive technology that would forever revolutionize the world of communications. Fast-forward to modern society, and Ethernet is everywhere.
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What is Ethernet?
Today, many people think that Ethernet means the Internet. While these two concepts are indeed related, Ethernet is simply an interface specification (IEEE 802.3) comprising many subsections and specifications defining the physical and data-link layers of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. One of the most important pieces that came out of IEEE 802.3 is the Ethernet physical layer (PHY).
Figure 1 shows an example block diagram of how data is transferred to and from an Ethernet node over standard Ethernet cable to a processor.
Figure 1: Ethernet PHY system block diagram
These are the three things you should know about Ethernet PHY:
Without Ethernet, you would not be able to quickly send data from one point to another. Forty years after its creation, Ethernet has become truly indispensable. What else would you like to know about Ethernet PHY? Leave a comment below.
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