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by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Network

In addition to the attached devices also referred to as nodes or station, LANs may make use of other devices to control physical access to the shared medium to extend the maximum reach of the LAN, and to switch traffic. Such hardware is in the form of NIC/NIU, transceiver, MAU, hubs, bridges, routers, and gateway.

Network Interface Card (NIC)

This is also known as Network Interface Unit (NIU). NIC is printed circuit boards that provide physical access from the node to the LAN medium. The NIC can be fitted into the expansion slot of a PC, or it can exist as a separate box. A standalone, Multiport NIC can serve a number of devices, thereby providing an additional level of contention control. A standard IEEE NIC contains a unique hard-coded logical address. Transceivers are embedded in NIC/NIU and MAU. MAU (Media Access Unit or Multistation Access Unit) are standalone devices that contain NIC in support of one or more nodes.


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