June 28, 2008

Concept of NIC(Network Interface Card)

Hello friends in this post i am going to tell you about the most important part of any computer that is required to connect a computer to the network cable.In this post we see how NIC works,belongs to which network layer and many other things related to it.

NIC stands for Network Interface Card.From its name its function is very much clear.A NIC has many other names like network card,network adapter or LAN adapter.The main function of NIC is to provide connectivity between the PC and the network's physical medium through the cable.Now this cable may be of copper or fiber optic cable.NIC is both layer 1(Physical Layer) and layer 2(Data Link Layer) device.
Older computers did not have any enbuilt NIC in them, for network connectivity we have to add NIC externally.But now a days NIC is enbuilt in the motherboard of the computers.NIC cards use ethernet connections and are available in 10, 100, and 1000 Base-T configurations. A 100 Base-T card can transfer data at 100 Mbps.In addition to provide connection to the network,NICs has one important function of data conversion.Data travels in parallel on the PCI's bus system, but the network medium demands a serial transmission.The transceiver, a transmitter and receiver, on the NIC has the ability to move data from parallel to serial and vice versa.

The Network Interface cards has also the ability of supplying a basic addressing system that can be used to get data from one computer to another on the network.The MAC(Medium Access Control) address of any computer is burned on the ROM chip on the NIC.The major companies that manufactured NICs are 3Com,Realtek and Linksys etc.

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