by Dinesh Thakur Category: Communication Networks

IEEE 802.5 Token Ring: Token ring is the IEEE 802.5 standard for a token-passing ring in Communication networks. A ring consists of a collection of ring interfaces connected by point-to-point lines i.e. ring interface of one station is connected to the ring interfaces of its left station as well as right station. Internally, signals travel around the Communication network from one station to the next in a ring.

These point-to-point links can be created with twisted pair, coaxial cable or fiber optics. Each bit arriving at an interface is copied into a 1-bit buffer. In this buffer the bit is checked and may be modified and is then copied out to the ring again. This copying of bit in the buffer introduces a 1-bit delay at each interface.

Token Ring is a LAN protocol defined in the IEEE 802.5 where all stations are connected in a ring and each station can directly hear transmissions only from its immediate neighbor. Permission to transmit is granted by a message (token) that circulates around the ring. A token is a special bit pattern (3 bytes long). There is only one token in the network.

               A Ring Network

Token-passing networks move a small frame, called a token, around the network. Possession of the token grants the right to transmit. If a node receiving the token in order to transmit data, it seizes the token, alters 1 bit of the token (which turns the token into a start-of-frame sequence), appends the information that it wants to transmit, and sends this information to the next station on the ring. Since only one station can possess the token and transmit data at any given time, there are no collisions.

There are two operating modes of ring interfaces. There are listen and transmit. In listen mode, the input bits are simply copied to output with a delay of 1- bit time. In transmit mode the connection between input and output is broken by the interface so that is can insert its own data. The station comes in transmit mode when it captures the token.

The frames are acknowledged by the destination in a very simple manner. The sender sends frames to receiver with ACK bit 0. The receiver on receiving frames, copies data into its buffer, verifies the checksum and set the ACK bit to 1. The verified frames come back to sender, where they are removed from the ring.

The information frame circulates the ring until it reaches the intended destination station, which copies the information for further processing. The information frame continues to circle the ring and is finally removed when it reaches the sending station. The sending station can check the returning frame to see whether the frame was seen and subsequently copied by the destination.

A station can hold a token for a specific duration of time. During this time, it has to complete its transmission and regenerates the token in ring. Whenever a station finishes its transmissions, the other station grabs the token and starts its own transmission.


Handling cable breakage in ring networks

               Four Station Connected Via a wire Centre

• If the cable breaks, the entire ring network goes down. This can completely stop the propagation of token in the ring.

• This problem can be solved by using wire centre as shown in fig.

• This wire centre bypasses the terminal that has gone down in following manner:

(a) Each station is connected to wire center by a cable containing two twisted pairs, one for data to station and one for data from the station.

(b) Inside the wire center are bypass relays that are energized by the current from the stations.

(c) If the ring breaks or a station goes down loss of drive current will release the relay and bypass the station.


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Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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