Ethernet - Evolution - Repeaters and Hubs

Repeaters and Hubs

For signal degradation and timing reasons, coaxial Ethernet segments had a restricted size. Somewhat larger networks could be built by using an Ethernet repeater. Early repeaters had only two ports, allowing, at most, a doubling of network size. Once repeaters with more than two ports became available, it was possible to wire the network in a star topology. Early experiments with star topologies (called "Fibernet") using optical fiber were published by 1978.

Shared cable Ethernet was always hard to install in offices because its bus topology was in conflict with the star topology cable plans designed into buildings for telephony. Modifying Ethernet to conform to twisted pair telephone wiring already installed in commercial buildings provided another opportunity to lower costs, expand the installed base, and leverage building design, and, thus, twisted-pair Ethernet was the next logical development in the mid-1980s.

Ethernet on unshielded twisted-pair cables (UTP) began with StarLAN at 1 Mbit/s in the mid-1980s. In 1987 SynOptics introduced the first twisted-pair Ethernet at 10 Mbit/s in a star-wired cabling topology with a central hub, later called LattisNet. These evolved into 10BASE-T, which was designed for point-to-point links only, and all termination was built into the device. This changed repeaters from a specialist device used at the center of large networks to a device that every twisted pair-based network with more than two machines had to use. The tree structure that resulted from this made Ethernet networks easier to maintain by preventing most faults with one peer or its associated cable from affecting other devices on the network.

Despite the physical star topology and the presence of separate transmit and receive channels in the twisted pair and fiber media, repeater based Ethernet networks still use half-duplex and CSMA/CD, with only minimal activity by the repeater, primarily the Collision Enforcement signal, in dealing with packet collisions. Every packet is sent to every port on the repeater, so bandwidth and security problems are not addressed. The total throughput of the repeater is limited to that of a single link, and all links must operate at the same speed.

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Other articles related to "repeaters and hubs, repeater, repeaters, hub":

Information Networks - Basic Hardware Components - Repeaters and Hubs
... A repeater is an electronic device that receives a signal, cleans it of unnecessary noise, regenerates it, and retransmits it at a higher power level, or to the other ... In most twisted pair Ethernet configurations, repeaters are required for cable that runs longer than 100 meters ... A repeater with multiple ports is known as a hub ...

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