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Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies

1996, BICSI LAN Design Manual - CD-ROM, Issue 1


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Overview
LAN technologies defined
LANs have flourished over the past decade to become an integral part of the office
environment. Many LAN technologies have been introduced, but only a few have proven
themselves and become readily accepted.
In this section, some of the more popular LAN technologies will be examined. Each one will
be described according to its history, features and traditional configuration. The features of
each will be described according to the LAN architecture features described in Chapter 1
transmission medium, topology, access control, transmission technique and speed.
Under the heading of traditional LAN technologies, the following will be examined:
ARCnet.
Ethernet.
Token-ring.
AppleTalk.
The world of LANs is dynamic, and while certain technologies have earned wide acceptance
in the marketplace, newer ones are always being introduced.
LAN technologies defined,
continued
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Under the heading of emerging LAN technologies, the following will be discussed:
FDDI/TP-PMD.
High-speed Ethernets.
ATM.
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TRADITIONAL LAN TECHNOLOGIES
ARCnet
History
ARCnet (Attached Resource Computing Network) was developed by John Murphy at
Datapoint Corporation in 1977. At that time, it was introduced as a LAN solution for owners
of Datapoint computers. The company began licensing its technology to other manufacturers
in the early 1980s, which led to PC-based ARCnet LANs.
ARCnets initial popularity was due to its use of the same type of coax cabling as IBM 3270
terminals. Customers could purchase PCs, place them on users desks, remove the cable
from the terminal, plug it into the ARCnet interface card in the PC and take away the
terminal. In this manner, the migration to a LAN could be accomplished without recabling. By
contrast, Ethernet required a different type of coax, so migrating to Ethernet was a
significantly more costly affair for the same customer.
ARCnet predated the IEEE 802 committee for LANs, and Datapoint did not participate in the
meetings of the group. As a result, ARCnet was not an IEEE-sanctioned LAN. This, coupled
with Datapoints relatively minor status in the world computing industry, made large
companies reluctant to use ARCnet in their corporate networks.
ARCnet history, continued
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In September 1989, ARCnet Plus was announced. It promised an eight-fold increase in both
speed and the number of stations on a single network segment. More significant, stations
equipped with ARCnet Plus interface cards could coexist on the same segment as PCs with
older ARCnet cards. Clients could upgrade their network stations selectively, instead of being
obliged to spend money for every station to obtain better network performance.
In October 1992, after many years of lobbying by the ARCnet Trade Association, ANSI
recognized ARCnet as a LAN standard. By this time, however, it had long been surpassed in
sales volume by both Ethernet and Token-ring.
Today, with an installed base of well over four million stations worldwide, ARCnet is a proven
technology with a reputation for reliability in all types of environments, from the factory floor
to the corporate boardroom.
Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features defining ARCnet are as follows:
A reliable LAN solution where there are only a small number of stationstypically
numbering in the tens rather than hundreds.
Very efficient for small-packet communications where short messages are sent
between stations.
It provides for a very flexible configurationboth in terms of topology and cabling
media.
Connectivity is simplified by the use of hubseases management and
troubleshooting.
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Terminology
Token-bus
An access control mechanism which requires a station to have a token before
transmitting. The message is then broadcast to all other stations over a bus
topology.
Summary of features
Transmission medium
Traditional ARCnet LANs were cabled using RG-62 coaxial cable. RG-62 coax is a twin-
conductor, shielded cable with a 93-ohm impedance. It was the use of this type of coax
that made ARCnet an inexpensive investment for many early LAN usersthis is the same
type of coax used in the most popular mainframe environmentthe IBM 3270. Not having
to install new cable represented significant cost savings.
RG-62 coax has the advantage of low attenuation at ARCnets frequency5 MHz
permitting cable runs between hubs of up to 610 m (2000 ft).
ARCnet has evolved to support other transmission mediaunshielded twisted-pair,
shielded twisted-pair, and optical fiber.
ARCnet summary of features,
continued
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Topology
ARCnets traditional configuration is referred to as clustered star. Individual LAN stations
are connected to an active or a passive hub. These hubs are then connected daisy-chain
style, one to the other. Alternately, stations may be connected to one another, with the last
station connected to a port on an active hub.
Segments daisy-chained to an active hub can extend to a maximum of 305 m (1000 ft).
Segments using passive hubs are limited to a maximum of 30 m (100 ft).
Typically, a hub supports four or eight stations with a maximum network size of 255
stations.
ARCnet summary of features,
continued
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FIGURE 4.1: TRADITIONAL ARCNET COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
Active Hub
Active Hub
Up to 610 m
(2000 ft)
Passive Hub
93-ohm
Terminator
Up to 610 m (2000 ft)
Up to 30 m (100 ft)
Up to 305 m (1000 ft)
for a linear segment
Up to 30 m (100 ft)
ARCnet summary of features,
continued
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Access control
ARCnet closely resembles the IEEE 802.4 Token-bus standard. While IEEE 802.4 is used
mostly in the manufacturing environment, ARCnet is found both in factory floor and office
environments.
The principle behind ARCnets access to the media is based on token-passing. An
electronic token is required for a network station to gain access to the transmission
channel. Once a station has possession of the token it attaches the message to be
transmitted to the token. At this point the message is broadcast over the network. All
stations are listening, and the destination station recognizes its address and accepts the
message.
If a station has no message to transmit, the token is passed to the LAN station with the
next higher network address. For this reason, the logical topology of the network differs
from its physical topologythe next station in the chain may be next door or two floors
below. The station with the highest address passes the token to the station with the lowest
address, creating a loop in the network.
Each Network Interface Card (NIC) knows its own address and the address of the station
to which it will pass the token.
ARCnet summary of features,
continued
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The procedure for sending a token from station to station differs from traditional token-
passing:
The station sending the token listens on the transmission media to see if the token
has in fact been received.
It is assumed that if the token is received by the next station it will either transmit a
message or pass the token on to the next station in line.
If the transmission channel is quietno messages are being transmitted and the
token is not circulatinga second token is sent to the same intended station.
If there is still no response, the original sending station broadcasts a message on
the channel asking for the address of the next station in line.
This next station in line broadcasts its address and receives a token.
The apparently inactive station is bypassed.
Transmission technique
ARCnet operates as a baseband network. Transmissions are broadcast by one network
station to another specific network station.
ARCnet uses 5 MHz of bandwidth. Two cycles are used to signal the passage of a single
bit (1 or 0). The throughput is therefore 0.5 x 5 = 2.5 Mbps. ARCnet Plus uses the same
amount of bandwidth. However, one cycle is used to signal the passage of four bits. The
throughput is therefore 4 x 5 = 20 Mbps.
ARCnet summary of features,
continued
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Speed
Traditional ARCnet operated at 2.5 Mbps. A newer technology, ARCnet Plus operates at
20 Mbps.
The two forms of ARCnet are compatible and an ARCnet Plus segment can be added to a
traditional ARCnet LAN.
Future
ARCnet will most likely continue to be a popular solution for smaller office and especially
manufacturing environments. Because of its delay in becoming a recognized standard, it has
not been readily adopted by corporate users.
In response to general LAN trends, ARCnet is evolving. ARCnet Plus operates at 20 Mbps.
One vendor offers a modified version of ARCnet which operates at 100 Mbps.
ARCnet Plus offers several improvements over traditional ARCnet:
It has a maximum packet size of 4224 bytes versus 516 bytes of ARCnet.
It is able to support 2047 stations on the network versus 255 for ARCnet.
It supports IEEE 802.2 globally-administered 48-bit addressing, whereas ARCnet
uses locally-administered, 8-bit addressing.
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Ethernet
History
Ethernet was jointly developed by Xerox Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation and
Intel Corporation.
In the early 1970s, Xerox Corporations Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) began work on
what was then called Experimental Ethernet. The original Ethernet specification was
developed at PARC by Bob Metcalfe who subsequently went on to found 3Com Corporation.
The first Ethernet LAN adapter for personal computers was shipped in September 1982 by
3Com. Currently, most computer system vendors offer Ethernet connections for their
products.
While many variations of Ethernet existed in its early days, the most popular implementation
today is based on the IEEE 802.3 specification. All variations, however, shared two common
features:
A contention-based access scheme.
A linear-bus logical topology.
Ethernet design is discussed in detail in later chapters.
Ethernet history, continued
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Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features of Ethernet are as follows:
It is the most widely used LAN technology in the world.
Due to its popularity in the computer industry, it may be the best means to create a
network using equipment obtained from multiple vendors.
It is a proven technology for environments where relatively few stations are
responsible for the majority of network transmissions.
It continues to evolve in response to changes in technology and user needs, as
discussed later in this chapter.
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Terminology
AUI
Attachment Unit Interface. Mostly used when referring to the 15-pin D-type
connector and cable used to connect stations to an Ethernet transceiver in a
10Base5 (Thicknet) environment. The connector is sometimes referred to as DIX
(named for Digital, Intel and Xerox).
Barrel adapter
A barrel-shaped connector used to attach two lengths of thick Ethernet coaxial
cable, using N-connectors.
BNC connector
The connectors used with thin Ethernet (Thinnet). These connectors, used
throughout the cable length, attach to T-connectors, which in turn connect to
stations.
BNC stands for Bayonet Navel Connector. A twist lock connector used with thin
coaxial cable.
Drop cable
A four-pair cable connecting the network station to the transceiver attached to the
main trunk cable. Also referred to as AUI cable or transceiver cable.
Jabber
An overly long data frame sometimes caused by a defective NIC.
Ethernet terminology, continued
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Runt
A short data frame typically caused by a collision.
SQE
Signal Quality Error, also referred to as heartbeat. Used by a transceiver to
periodically inform a network control unit of its status.
Tap
A connection point created in Thicknet coaxial trunk cable for the purpose of
attaching a transceiver.
Terminating resistor (Terminator)
A device used at the ends of coaxial cable segments to prevent signals from being
reflected (or echoed back) onto the cable, which would cause signal interference.
Transceiver
A unit designed to connect station(s) to the Ethernet trunk cabling. The unit
provides both transmitter and receiver functions to allow the station(s) to join the
network. May be found on the stations NIC (Thinnet) or as a separate unit
(Thicknet).
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Summary of features
Transmission medium
Coaxial cable-based Ethernet
The original Ethernet was designed to use a thick coaxial main trunk cable, with a 10 mm
(0.4 in) diameter. Later a more flexible, thinner coaxial cableRG-58 with a 5 mm (0.2 in)
diameterwas introduced for Ethernet LANs. Use of this thinner coax resulted in the
network being referred to as Thinnet or Cheapernetdue to the lower cost of the thin
coax. The original Ethernet then became known as Thicknet.
While both forms of the coaxial cable support data rates of 10 Mbps, there are significant
differences in the total number of stations attached to the cable segment. The thinner
cable suffers from greater attenuation and less resistance to electromagnetic interference,
therefore, it is capable of supporting fewer connected stations. The following table
summarizes some of the differences between Ethernets created using the two coaxial
cable types.
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
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TABLE 4. 1: A COMPARISON OF THICK AND THIN ETHERNETS
Thicknet Thinnet
Maximum length 500 m (1640 ft) 185 m (607 ft)
of a segment
Maximum number 5 5
of connected segments
Maximum coax cable 2,500 m (8202 ft) 925 m (3035 ft)
length of LAN (end-to-end)
Maximum number 100 30
of stations per segment
NOTE: An Ethernet segment is defined as a continuous length of cable.
Once its maximum length is reached, a repeater is required. Repeaters
are used to join two segments of cable and regenerate the signals
passing through. The repeaters are transparent to all of the devices
attached to the LAN.
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
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Unshielded twisted-pair Ethernet
Migration to less expensive transmission media continued with the formalization of
10Base-T Ethernet in 1990. This is an IEEE extension to the Ethernet standard. It
specifies the use of unshielded twisted-pair cabling (UTP) as the transmission media.
10Base-T Ethernet is the first LAN standard to acknowledge the recommendations made
in a cabling system standard. Many of the specifications for 10Base-T cabling are the
same as those for structured cabling in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A. For example, 10Base-T is
designed to operate over a maximum end-to-end cable length of 100 m (328 ft)the
horizontal link distance recommended by the cabling system standard.
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
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Topology
Thicknet Ethernet follows a bus topology where all network stations are attached to
transceivers connected to a single length of coaxial cable using twisted-pair transceiver
cable.
The transceiver cable acts as the interface between the NIC and the transceiver. A
transceiver cable is made up of four individually shielded pairs of wires.
One pair for transmit.
One pair for receive.
One pair for powering.
One pair for collision detection.
In Thinnet, the transceiver is placed onto the NIC, therefore, there is no need for a
separate transceiver cable. The coaxial cable runs from station to station, forming the bus.
In 10Base-T or 10Base-F, the bus is reduced in size and placed inside a hub. Stations
connect to the hub using UTP or optical fiber cabling.
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
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FIGURE 4.2: THICKNET ETHERNET COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
50-ohm
terminator with
ground
Transceiver
up to 50 m (164 ft)
at least 2.5 m
(8 ft)
up to 500 m (1640 ft)
AUI cable
Thicknet
coaxial
cable
Terminator
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FIGURE 4.3: THINNET ETHERNET COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
50-ohm
terminator with
ground
up to 185 m (607 ft)
Thinnet
coaxial cable
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FIGURE 4.4: 10BASE-T ETHERNET COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
Hub
up to 100 m
(328 ft)
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FIGURE 4.5: 10BASE-F ETHERNET COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
Hub
up to 2000 m
(1.25 mi)
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Access control
Ethernets mechanism for accessing the transmission channel to transmit a message is
best described in the January 1991 issue of BYTE Magazine:
Ethernet is based on the same etiquette that makes for a polite
conversation: listen before talking. Of course, even when people are
trying not to interrupt each other, there are those embarrassing
moments when two people start talking at the same time.
This method of access control is a form of contention. That is, each station monitors the
network and if no transmission is detected the station transmits its message. If a
transmission is detected, the station waits. When the transmission channel is clear it is
able to transmit its message.
The specific access control scheme used by Ethernet is known as Carrier-Sense Multiple
Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), discussed in an earlier chapter.
Transmission technique
Ethernet most often uses baseband transmission, although a broadband version of
Ethernet is available.
Transmissions are broadcast over the network by the sending station, using Manchester
encoding. That is, transmissions can be heard by all attached network stations. While all
stations can hear the transmission, only the station for which it was intended will recognize
it and acknowledge it.
Ethernet summary of features,
continued
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Speed
The most common transmission speed for Ethernet is 10 Mbps. There is a version of
Ethernet specified which transmits at 1 Mbps.
Future
With the introduction of the 10Base-T specification, there was a renewed interest in Ethernet.
Choosing it provided the user with a reliable, structured and cost-effective LAN solution,
often using the existing cabling infrastructure. Development has not stopped with 10Base-T.
Different configurations and types of Ethernet have been recently introduced. They are
discussed later in this chapter.
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Token-ring
History
Token-ring technology was brought to market in 1985 by IBM as a connectivity solution for its
varied computing environments.
IBM was the first computer systems vendor to recognize the need for a structured cabling
system. The IBM Cabling System introduced in 1984 and used by traditional Token-ring
LANs, favors shielded twisted-pair cable, referred to as STP.
Token-ring specifications have been formalized by the IEEE as the 802.5 standard.
Token-ring design will be discussed in detail in later chapters.
Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features of Token-ring are as follows:
It is a very robust and highly fault-tolerant LAN technology.
It is a proven technology for environments where all stations require equal access
to network resources.
It allows for easy expansion, with little degradation in performance as new stations
are added.
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Terminology
Lobe
The section of cable attaching the NIC in a station to the MAU.
MAU (or MSAU)
Multistation Access Unit. A passive (not powered) hub to which all stations on the
ring are attached. Found at the center of the Token-ring star-wired ring topology.
CAU
Controlled Access Unit. Similar in function to a MAU, but is an active (powered)
unit, which regenerates the incoming signal before forwarding it to the next station
on the ring.
Media filter
A device used to connect UTP cable to a traditional Token-ring NIC, which
accommodates STP cabling only. The more recent Token-ring NICs offer both UTP
and STP connections, eliminating the need for such a device.
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Summary of features
Transmission medium
Token-ring was originally designed to operate at both 4 and 16 Mbps over a two-pair 150
shielded twisted-pair cableknown as IBM Type 1 cable. At the time of its introduction,
the performance of unshielded twisted-pair cable was uncertain for high-speed data
transmissions.
IBM Type 1 cable was able to offer guaranteed high data transmission rates over extended
distances.
Today, Token-ring networks operate over 100 W unshielded twisted-pair cable and optical
fiber cable, as well as STP.
Token-ring summary of features,
continued
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Topology
Token-ring follows a star-wired ring topology. While the physical topology resembles a
star, the logical topology is that of a ring.
In this configuration, each station is directly wired to a central unit known as a Multistation
Access Unit (MAU). The MAU links the stations internally to create a ring between the
connected stations.
Using a MAU makes for a reliable, flexible and easily configured network. MAUs remove
the unreliability of a traditional ring topology. If a network station fails or if a cable is
broken, the MAU reconfigures the ring, bypassing the error-causing link.
MAUs are usually passive devices. Each is often equipped with 8 or 16 ports for station
connections plus two additional portsRing-In and Ring-Outfor connections to other
MAUs, to provide ring growth.
Token-ring summary of features,
continued
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FIGURE 4.6: TRADITIONAL TOKEN-RING COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
Token-ring summary of features,
continued
Logical Ring
Physical Star topology
Multistation Access Unit
Multistation Access Unit
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Access control
Token-ring uses a token-passing access control mechanism. A Token-ring token is an
electronic signal, 24 bits in length. A station in possession of the token has an exclusive
right to transmit.
Token-passing is a deterministic method of access control. It is possible to determine the
probability of a station possessing the token based on the number of stations on the ring.
Therefore, it is possible to estimate how often a station will have the ability to transmit and
what the level of traffic on the network will be, prior to implementation.
Requiring a token to transmit classifies Token-ring access control as a collision-avoidance
method.
The token is created by one station on the networkthe token manager. If that station is
shut off, or fails for some reason, another station assumes the token creation task. The
logic for the token generation process is built into the network adapter cards.
Token-ring summary of features,
continued
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Transmission technique
The transmission technique used by Token-ring is basebandonly one station is able to
transmit at a time. Possession of the token permits a station to transmit, using Differential
Manchester encoding.
Data transmission occurs as follows:
Once a station has possession of a token, it adds data and control fields to the
token, creating a frame.
The frame passes from station to station until it reaches its destination.
The destination station recognizes its own address and copies the frame.
The destination station returns the frame to the network, where it continues to
circulate from station to station until it returns to the transmitting station.
The transmitting station is responsible for removing the frame and for releasing a
new token.
As a frame passes from station to station, each station is responsible for
regenerating the transmission.
Token-ring summary of features,
continued
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Speed
The first Token-ring system (1985) operated at 4 Mbps. In 1988, a 16 Mbps version was
introduced. Both speeds are currently available.
Future
Token-ring installations will likely continue to be very popular with users who demand
reliability. The introduction of UTP-based Token-ring has further increased its popularity.
As the demand for bandwidth has increased, pressure has been put on vendors to develop
higher-speed versions of their products. Token-ring technology is expected to evolve to meet
these requirements.
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AppleTalk
History
When Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh computer in 1984, it included local area
networking capability in each device through a combination of hardwarea built-in Network
Interface Cardand softwarebuilt into the operating system.
The following year, the company introduced the LaserWriter, a high-quality laser printer
which produced text and graphics output far superior to that of any dot-matrix printer. The
cost of the LaserWriter made it difficult for companies to purchase one for every Macintosh
user, therefore, a means of sharing this device was needed.
Since the LaserWriter was also equipped with a built-in network port, Macintosh networking
was a simple matter. Initially, Apple referred to its network of Macintoshes and printers as
AppleTalk. Later, this term was assigned to the software portion of the networkthe built-in
hardware became known as LocalTalk.
All other types of personal computers and printers began as stand-alone devices and over
time developed local area networking capabilities. The Macintosh, due to its initial design,
networked effortlessly from the day of its introduction.
In June 1989, Apple updated the AppleTalk protocols to AppleTalk Phase 2. This was done to
permit Macintosh networks to grow more easily, as well as to allow for simpler integration
with other types of networks and computers.
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Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features defining AppleTalk are as follows:
A proprietary (not recognized by IEEE Project 802) set of networking protocols
designed to provide communications between devices in the Macintosh family of
products.
Allows for simple connectivity with little configuration required for network
operations.
Has evolved to allow for communications with non-Apple systemsother types of
personal computers, minicomputers and mainframes.
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Terminology
AppleTalk
The name given to the series of specifications which define how communications
are established, maintained and terminated between devices over a network.
LocalTalk
The name given to Apple Computers LAN hardware built into each device in the
Macintosh family of products. Its specifications are discussed below.
EtherTalk
Apple Computers implementation of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet in the Macintosh
environment. Permits the integration of Macintoshes into an Ethernet network.
TokenTalk
Apple Computers implementation of IEEE 802.5 Token-ring in the Macintosh
environment. Permits the integration of Macintoshes into a Token-ring network.
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Summary of features
Transmission medium
LocalTalk uses shielded twisted-pair cable. It requires only one pair for communications
between devices. With the introduction of EtherTalk and TokenTalk, support for coaxial,
unshielded twisted-pair and optical fiber cabling has become available.
Topology
LocalTalk uses a bus topology. Stations may be attached anywhere along the length of the
bus using their built-in connectors. The maximum length of the bus is 305 m (1000 ft).
In the original AppleTalk protocol, referred to as AppleTalk Phase 1, the maximum number
of stations supported on a single network is 32. These networks can be linked together to
a maximum of 254 devices, due to an 8-bit address field. In AppleTalk Phase 2, the
maximum theoretical number of linked devices becomes more than 16 million for
EtherTalk and TokenTalk networks, due to a 24-bit extended address field. LocalTalk,
however, remains limited to 254 devices.
AppleTalk summary of features,
continued
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FIGURE 4.7: TRADITIONAL LOCALTALK COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
AppleTalk summary of features,
continued
up to 305 m (1000 ft)
cable
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Access control
The access protocol used by LocalTalk is the LocalTalk Link Access Protocol (LLAP). It is
a broadcast protocol known as CSMA/CACarrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision
Avoidance. In the OSI model, LLAP would be classified as a Layer 2data link layer
protocol.
This protocol is based on handshaking to establish communications between the sending
station and the receiving station. Handshaking can be defined as follows:
The initial exchange of signals which sets the parameters for
communications between two stations to ensure proper data
transmission.
LLAP assigns a unique node number to each device on the network. This assignment of
addresses is dynamicoccurring on an as-needed basis. There is no need to assign
addresses during network configuration. When a network station powers on, it determines
its node address at that time.
AppleTalk summary of features,
continued
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When a station wishes to transmit, it uses the following process:
The station wishing to transmit checks the transmission medium to see if it is idle.
The transmission medium must be idle for at least 400 microseconds, at which
time the transmitting station waits for an additional random amount of time.
The transmitting station sends a Request to Send control packet to the intended
destination station.
The destination station sends a Clear to Send reply to the transmitting station.
The data is then transmitted.
The destination station receives the broadcast message, which was ignored by all
other stations on the network.
If the sending station did not receive the Clear to Send, it assumes that there has been a
collision and the process begins again.
Transmission technique
LocalTalk uses baseband transmission, allowing only one station to transmit at a time.
Transmissions use a broadcast technique, with EIA-422A signaling and FM-0 encoding. In
the OSI model, this would be classified as a Layer 1or physical layerprotocol.
AppleTalk summary of features,
continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
1996, BICSI LAN Design Manual - CD-ROM, Issue 1
40
Speed
LocalTalk operates at a data transmission rate of 230.4 Kbps. This is substantially slower
than EtherTalk at 10 Mbps or TokenTalk at either 4 or 16 Mbps.
Due to the slow rate of transmission, servers on LocalTalk networks may be busy for
extended periods of time and therefore unable to respond to requests. For this reason,
requests often need to be rebroadcast, further congesting the network.
If the number of devices to be connected is greater than 15, it is advisable to use
EtherTalk or TokenTalk.
Future
AppleTalk continues to evolve in its role as the predominant networking environment for
Apple Computer products. In the beginning, it provided means of creating Macintosh
LANs. Today, it allows for the integration of the Macintosh into other network technologies
such as Ethernet and Token-ring. As well, Apple is actively pursuing Macintosh integration
into the emerging LAN environments, discussed in the following pages.
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
1996, BICSI LAN Design Manual - CD-ROM, Issue 1
41
EMERGING LAN TECHNOLOGIES
ANSI X3T9.5 FDDI and TP-PMD
History
Fiber Distributed Data Interface
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) is considered to be one of the newer LAN
technologies. However, the initial proposal for FDDI was made in October 1982.
FDDI was originally designed to provide a means of interconnecting mainframe and
minicomputers systems, as a very high-speed backbone network. FDDI specifies the use
of optical fiber cable and benefits from fibers many advantageshigher transmission
rates, longer link lengths, immunity to electromagnetic noise and increased security.
In 1984, FDDI was modified to incorporate LANs and in 1986, FDDI was described in a
draft standard by the ANSI X3T9.5 committee. Final approval came in 1990.
FDDI design is discussed in detail in a later chapter.
FDDI and TP-PMD history,
continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
1996, BICSI LAN Design Manual - CD-ROM, Issue 1
42
Twisted-Pair Physical Medium Dependent
Twisted-pair Physical Medium Dependent (TP-PMD) is a more recent technology which
has been adopted as an extension to the ANSI X3T9.5 standard. It has been referred to as
FDDI over copper. Other than the transmission medium used, there is no significant
difference between FDDI and TP-PMD operations.
Due to the higher cost of installing optical fiber and its associated components, a lower-
cost solution using copper cabling was seen as an attractive way to bring a high-speed
LAN to the ever-powerful desktop station.
TP-PMD was the first technology to illustrate the feasibility of very high-speed LAN
operations over copper twisted-pair cabling.
Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features defining ANSI X3T9.5 are as follows:
Designed to provide high-speed connections over long distances.
It is a standards-based technology providing a flexible, robust and high-
performance solution, using proven Token-ring access technology.
ANSI X3T9.5 complements existing LAN standards and is often used to
interconnect other LAN environments as a backbone LAN.
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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43
Terminology
Twisted-PairPhysical Medium Dependent (TP-PMD) technology has
also been referred to by the following names:
CDDI - Copper Distributed Data Interface.
TPDDI - Twisted-Pair Distributed Data Interface.
S(TP)DDI - Shielded (Twisted-Pair) Distributed Data Interface.
UTPDDI - Unshielded Twisted-Pair Distributed Data Interface.
Dual-Attachment Station (DAS)
Defined as a Class A station, which incorporates connections for both the primary
and the secondary (backup) ring.
Single-Attachment Station (SAS)
Defined as a Class B station which incorporates connections for the primary ring
alone.
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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Summary of features
Transmission medium
All recommendations for the transmission medium are made in the ANSI X3T9.5 Physical
Medium Dependent (PMD) sublayer specification which, together with the Physical
sublayer specification, makes up the ISO layer 1 (Physical) protocols. The PMD
specification outlines requirements for transmission media and all physical connections to
the transmission medium used.
Physical layer specifications for FDDI are detailed for the following:
The physical characteristics of the optical fiber to useincluding loss, bandwidth
and dispersion.
The physical characteristics of the optical fiber connectors.
The characteristics of the optical bypass switchused by Dual-Attachment
Stations.
The characteristics of optical transmitters and receiverspower, sensitivity,
waveforms and center wavelength.
The mechanisms to establish a link between neighboring stations, and to engage
the optical bypass switch in the event of neighboring station failure.
FDDI and TP-PMD summary of
features, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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45
FDDI recommends the use of 62.5/125 m multimode optical fiber, although other
multimode sizes or even single-mode fiber may be used. The standard recommends using
a light-emitting diode (LED) operating at 1300 nm as the transmitter.
Additions made to the PMD specification has resulted in TP-PMD, which provides for
FDDI to operate over STP cable as well as Category 5 UTP cable.
FDDI and TP-PMD summary of
features, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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46
Topology
The traditional FDDI/TP-PMD topology is one of dual counter-rotating rings. Fault
isolation and recovery is automatic, since one ring acts as a backup to the other.
In a dual-ring architecture, there are two optical fiber rings connecting stations. Counter-
rotating means that the direction of transmission is opposite for the two rings. One of the
rings is active, while the second acts as a backup.
In the case of a broken cable or a nonresponsive station on the network, the ring wraps
around on itself on both sides of the fault to correct the problem. This permits the LAN to
continue operating without disruption of service to the other stations on the ring.
Fault isolation and recovery is under the control of the Station Management (SMT)
specification. It determines how ring data is collected and configured at setup or after a
failure. SMT is responsible for seeing that there is a problem and implementing the fault
protection features. SMT was defined to:
Ensure that the FDDI/TP-PMD network could be easily managed.
Monitor network operations.
Quickly identify any exception to normal operations.
An FDDI network can have up to 500 dual-attached stations (attachments to both rings)
with a maximum distance of 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) between stations. The FDDI
network can span a total of 100 kilometers (62.5 miles).
The TP-PMD environment operates using Category 5 twisted-pair cable to a maximum of
100 m (328 ft) between stations. It is was designed to provide 100 Mbps performance over
the largest possible horizontal cabling link, as defined by structured cabling standards.
FDDI and TP-PMD summary of
features, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
1996, BICSI LAN Design Manual - CD-ROM, Issue 1
47
FIGURE 4.8: FDDI COMPONENTS AND CONFIGURATION
FDDI and TP-PMD summary of
features, continued
Concentrator
Primary ring
Secondary
ring
DAS
DAS
DAS
SAS
SAS
SAS
DAS = Dual-Attachment Station (Class A node)
SAS = Single-Attachment Station (Class B node)
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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48
Access control
The access control method used by FDDI/TP-PMD is much like that for Token-ring. It is a
token-passing scheme that is only slightly different from the IEEE 802.5 specificationa
token is made available to the ring immediately after a station transmits, without waiting
for an acknowledgment from the recipient. This provides for a high degree of network
availability.
The Media Access Control (MAC) specifies the access mechanism used by
FDDI/TP-PMD stations on the ring for transmitting and receiving data. The MAC
specification defines the:
Format and structure of the FDDI/TP-PMD frame.
Time Token Rotation Protocol, which determines access time for transmitting
information on the ring.
Ring monitoring functions.
Transmission technique
FDDI and TP-PMD both use baseband transmission, with 4B/5B encoding used to
represent the data being transmitted. This encoding scheme uses a 125 MHz bandwidth,
which is multiplied by 4 and divided by 5 to derive the 100 Mbps bit rate.
FDDI uses the less sophisticated and more reliable encoding scheme of NRZI while
TP-PMD had to adopt a sophisticated encoding scheme known as MLT-3 to avoid violating
FCC emission regulations.
FDDI and TP-PMD summary of
features, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
1996, BICSI LAN Design Manual - CD-ROM, Issue 1
49
Speed
FDDI/TP-PMD was designed from the beginning to operate at 100 Mbps. It was the first
very high-speed LAN technology available.
Future
FDDI is a proven and popular LAN backbone technology. TP-PMD has not been adopted by
a large number of users as a replacement for existing Ethernet and Token-ring technologies.
More recently, other technologies claiming to be as fast or fasterand lower in costhave
appeared, as discussed next.
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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50
High-speed Ethernets
Introduction
To many, Fast Ethernet is a term synonymous with 100 Mbps Ethernet. This is not an entirely
accurate assumption. There are two 100 Mbps standards-approved Ethernet technologies,
and the two are very different.
Fast Ethernet refers specifically to a high-speed Ethernet proposal under consideration by
the IEEE 802.3 committee. The second 100 Mbps Ethernet is correctly described as Demand
Priority Ethernet. It is based on a different technology and it is under review by a different
IEEE committeeIEEE 802.12. Each of the two technologies has specific technical
requirements.
High-speed Ethernets
introduction, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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51
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet
In November 1992, Grand Junction Networks submitted its proposal for 100 Mbps
Ethernet to the IEEE 802.3 committee. Its proposal was based on a technology allowing
migration from 10 Mbps Ethernet to 100 Mbps Ethernet on existing cabling systems. The
technology proposes using a frame format identical to that used in 10 Mbps Ethernet.
This technology is referred to as 100Base-Talthough it has been called 100BaseX.
Since making its proposal, Grand Junction has formed a consortium of more than 60
organizations interested in the advancement and interoperability of Fast Ethernet
technology.
As of March 1995, the specification was considered to be technically complete and
proceeding through the final formal standardization process.
IEEE 802.12 Demand Priority Ethernet
This second 100 Mbps version of Ethernet was first proposed by a consortium led by
Hewlett-Packard and AT&T. It is under review by a different IEEE committee because its
technology is incompatible with existing Ethernet. That is, it is not based on a CSMA/CD
approach.
This technology is referred to as 100VGalthough it has been called 100VG-AnyLAN,
VG, AnyLAN, or 100Base-VG.
100VG is considered to be a unifying technology. It was designed to offer migration from
both Ethernet and Token-ring networks.
High-speed Ethernets
introduction, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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52
Switched Ethernet
Along with these two new Ethernet specifications, switching technologies have been
recently introduced to the LAN environment. Implemented in centralized hubs, switching
allows for collision-free Ethernetseach station has its own segment, with the switch
instantaneously connecting any two stations internally.
Station links can be at the traditional Ethernet speed of 10 Mbps or at either of the two 100
Mbps technologies described above. As well, the possibility of collision is nonexistent in
such a configuration, since a station can transmit and receive signals simultaneously,
potentially doubling the link throughput to 20 or 200 Mbps. This is referred to as full-duplex
Ethernet. Traditional Ethernet is half-duplexa station either transmits or receives, but
not both simultaneously.
Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features defining high-speed Ethernets are as follows:
They are a response to the demands for greater bandwidth by Ethernet users
numbering over 40 million stations worldwide.
They allow for a steady migration using a familiar technology, without the need for
more expensive FDDI/TP-PMD or ATM technologies.
In conjunction with switching, 100 Mbps Ethernet technologies can readily
accommodate video services between users on a LAN, such as videoconferencing
or multimedia file sharing.
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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53
Transmission medium
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet
100 Base-T is an extension of the existing Ethernet standard. It supports three
transmission media specifications or physical layers. These three are referred to as
follows:
100Base-TX
This is the specification supporting 100 Mbps Ethernet over two twisted-pairs
either 2-pair Category 5 UTP or 2-pair STP cabling.
100Base-T4
This is the specification supporting 100 Mbps Ethernet over four-pair UTP
cablingeither Category 3, Category 4 or Category 5.
100Base-FX
This is the specification supporting 100 Mbps Ethernet over a two-fiber optical fiber
cabling system.
IEEE 802.12 Demand priority Ethernet
100VG (Voice Grade) accommodates both 4-pair unshielded twisted-pair cabling
(Category 3 and Category 5) and optical fiber cabling. The difference between the
specifications for the two media are for maximum distances between hubs and stations.
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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54
Topology
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet
The specifications are essentially the same as for 10Base-T and the design of the cabling
system is based on the recommendations made in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A. It is specified
that the system should follow a star topology.
However, to provide the high throughput in 100Base-T, the size of the collision domain
must be decreased from the limits specified in 10Base-T. That is, the total length of cable
connecting any two stations must be limited, in order to permit any attached station to
detect collisions in time to delay transmitting its data. To meet these requirements, the
following distance modification is made:
The total length of UTP cabling from one station connected to a
hub to another station connected to another hub, cannot exceed
220 m (722 ft). In 10Base-T, this distance would be 500 m (1640 ft).
It should be noted that, while the collision domain of 100Base-T is smaller that that of
10Base-T, all the distances specified by 100Base-T fall within the limits recommended
by ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A. Any organization having installed a cabling system compliant
with ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A can be assured that the horizontal cabling system will support
100Base-T.
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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55
FIGURE 4.9: 100BASE-T FAST ETHERNET CONFIGURATION
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Hub
Hub
Hub Hub
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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56
IEEE 802.12 Demand Priority Ethernet
The 100VG standard recommends a star topology that calls for a root hub which provides
links to other hubs. The collection of hubs can be cascaded to a maximum of three levels.
This implies a hierarchical structure for 100VG networks.
Maximum network cable length depends on the transmission media used, the number of
hubs used and the location of the hubs. Some examples of acceptable distances in the
100VG environment include:
Category 3 cable can support a maximum of three levels of hubs with a maximum
distance of 100 m (328 ft) between hubs. This results in a maximum station-to-
station distance of 600 m (1968 ft).
Category 5 cable can support a maximum of three levels of hubs with a maximum
distance of 150 m (492 ft) between hubs. This results in a maximum station-to-
station distance of 900 m (2952 ft).
If optical fiber connections are used, the station-to-station distance can be as long
as 5000 m (16400 ft).
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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57
FIGURE 4.10: 100VG DEMAND PRIORITY ETHERNET CONFIGURATION
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Root
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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58
Access control
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet
The IEEE 802.3 Media Access Control (MAC) sublayer is unchanged.
The difference in performance level is attributed to how often data frames are transmitted.
With a 10 Mbps data rate, each frame takes 67.2 microseconds to be
transmitted57.6 microseconds to transmit the frame itself and a
gap of 9.6 microseconds between two frames. This translates into a
maximum of 14880 frames being transmitted per second.
(i.e., 67.2 microseconds x 14880 = 1 second) At 100 Mbps data rate,
the frame format is unchanged, but the gap between two frames is
reduced to 0.96 microsecondsone-tenth of what it is at 10 Mbps.
This means that frames can be sent ten times as oftenequaling
148800 frames per second.
High-speed Ethernets
characteristics, continued
Chapter 4 - LAN Technologies
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59
IEEE 802.12 Demand Priority Ethernet
100VG does not provide for collision detection. Instead, it works with a deterministic
access control method. There is no need for multiple access or for collision detection.
The 100VG hub polls each attached station to see if it has data to transmit. If the station
has data to transmit, it can do so in two waysnormal or priority mode. Stations are
polled in order of initial connection.
Both Ethernet and Token-ring frame types can be accommodated by the 100VG
technology. Therefore, it can be used as an upgrade path for both.
100VG supports isochronous transmissionthe ability to send time-sensitive frames, such
as those which carry voice or motion video signals.
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Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
Introduction
What is referred to today as ATM began in the early 1980s as a Bell Laboratories research
project. In the mid-1980s, the CCITT named this new technology ATM.
In 1991, two groups began to collaborate for the purpose of establishing standards for ATM.
The ATM Forum is a coalition of communications systems vendors established to promote
research, development and testing of ATM standards. The International Telecommunications
Unions Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-TSS) is also involved in standards
development for ATM technology. These two groups work independently but compare and
refine their work to ensure the worldwide acceptance of the eventual ATM standards.
ATM is a cell-based multiplexing and switching technology. It was designed to be a general-
purpose, connection-oriented transfer mode for a wide range of servicesvoice, data, still
image or motion video.
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Characteristics
Some of the characteristic features defining ATM are as follows:
ATM was designed for flexibility but sometimes at the expense of efficiency.
For any single application, it is usually possible to find a better communications
technique.
ATM excels when there is a need to use the same stationcomputer,
multiplexer, router, switch and/or networkfor different applicationsvoice, still
image, motion video or traditional data. In such scenarios, it is more cost-
effective to implement one method of communications between stations
ATMinstead of multiple different solutionsfor example, an Ethernet network
for traditional data and an FDDI network for video services.
ATM is a scalable technologyit can be implemented over the smallest LAN up to
the largest geographic internetwork.
ATM design is discussed in detail in a later chapter.
ATM characteristics, continued
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Transmission medium and speed
Because ATM is mainly a switching interface, its transmission can be implemented over
any transmission mediumtwisted-pair, optical fiber or coaxial cabling, as well as
wireless links. The choice of media for ATM depends largely on the desired transmission
speed and the type of environmentLAN or WAN.
The different transmission media and transmission speed choices appear to complicate
ATM implementation. However, ATM technology is scalable and the design intent is to
permit communicating stations to operate at different speeds over their respective
networks yet still link transparently to each other as needed.
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Overview.................................................................................. 1
LAN technologies defined ............................................................. 1
TRADITIONAL LAN TECHNOLOGIES ................................... 3
ARCnet ..................................................................................... 3
History................................................................................................ 3
Characteristics ................................................................................. 4
Terminology ...................................................................................... 5
Summary of features ....................................................................... 5
Transmission medium ....................................................................... 5
Topology ............................................................................................ 6
Access control ................................................................................... 8
Transmission technique .................................................................... 9
Speed .............................................................................................. 10
Future ............................................................................................... 10



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Ethernet ................................................................................. 11
History.............................................................................................. 11
Characteristics ............................................................................... 12
Terminology .................................................................................... 13
Summary of features ..................................................................... 15
Transmission medium ..................................................................... 15
Coaxial cable-based Ethernet ....................................................... 15
Unshielded twisted-pair Ethernet .................................................. 17
Topology .......................................................................................... 18
Access control ................................................................................. 23
Transmission technique .................................................................. 23
Speed .............................................................................................. 24
Future ............................................................................................... 24
Token-ring ............................................................................. 25
History.............................................................................................. 25
Characteristics ............................................................................... 25
Terminology .................................................................................... 26
Summary of features ..................................................................... 27
Transmission medium ..................................................................... 27
Topology .......................................................................................... 28
Access control ................................................................................. 30
Transmission technique .................................................................. 31
Speed .............................................................................................. 32
Future ............................................................................................... 32



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AppleTalk ............................................................................... 33
History.............................................................................................. 33
Characteristics ............................................................................... 34
Terminology .................................................................................... 35
Summary of features ..................................................................... 36
Transmission medium ..................................................................... 36
Topology .......................................................................................... 36
Access control ................................................................................. 38
Transmission technique .................................................................. 39
Speed .............................................................................................. 40
Future ............................................................................................... 40



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EMERGING LAN TECHNOLOGIES..................................... 41
ANSI X3T9.5 FDDI and TP-PMD ..................................... 41
History.............................................................................................. 41
Fiber Distributed Data Interface ................................................... 41
Twisted-Pair Physical Medium Dependent ................................... 42
Characteristics ............................................................................... 42
Terminology .................................................................................... 43
Summary of features ..................................................................... 44
Transmission medium ..................................................................... 44
Topology .......................................................................................... 46
Access control ................................................................................ 48
Transmission technique .................................................................. 48
Speed .............................................................................................. 49
Future ............................................................................................... 49



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High-speed Ethernets .......................................................... 50
Introduction..................................................................................... 50
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet ............................................................... 51
IEEE 802.12 Demand Priority Ethernet .......................................... 51
Switched Ethernet ........................................................................... 52
Characteristics ............................................................................... 52
Transmission medium ..................................................................... 53
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet ............................................................. 53
IEEE 802.12 Demand priority Ethernet ........................................ 53
Topology .......................................................................................... 54
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet ............................................................. 54
IEEE 802.12 Demand Priority Ethernet ........................................ 56
Access control ................................................................................. 58
IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet ............................................................. 58
IEEE 802.12 Demand Priority Ethernet ........................................ 59
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) ................................. 60
Introduction..................................................................................... 60
Characteristics ............................................................................... 61
Transmission medium and speed ................................................... 62



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Figure 4.1: Traditional ARCnet components
and configuration ..................................................... 7
Figure 4.2: Thicknet Ethernet components
and configuration ................................................... 19
Figure 4.3: Thinnet Ethernet components
and configuration ................................................... 20
Figure 4.4: 10Base-T Ethernet components
and configuration ................................................... 21
Figure 4.5: 10Base-F Ethernet components
and configuration ................................................... 22
Figure 4.6: Traditional Token-ring components
and configuration ................................................... 29
Figure 4.7: Traditional LocalTalk components
and configuration ................................................... 37
Figure 4.8: FDDI components and configuration .................... 47
Figure 4.9: 100Base-T Fast Ethernet configuration ............... 55
Figure 4.10: 100VG Demand Priority Ethernet configuration .. 57



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Table 4.1: A comparison of thick and thin Ethernets ..................... 16