Physical Layer - Linux

The physical layer (PHY) is responsible for the modulation and electrical details of data transmission. An example of a PHY used in local area networks (LANs) is Ethernet. Ethernet uses a technique called Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect (CSMA/CD). Another example of a PHY is a T1 interface, which is used in Wide Area Networks (WANs). Refer to “Broadband Networking Protocols of Yesterday and Today,” for more information about WANs. Each machine has a unique physical address that is usually called a Media Access Control address (MAC) on LANs or a station ID on WANs. The MACs can support several addressing modes, including unicast, multicast, and broadcast. Unicast is the transmission of a frame to a specific single recipient; multicast is the transmission of a frame to a specific group of recipients; and broadcast is the sending of a frame to all the machines that can be reached in a subset of the network topology.

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