Senin, 18 Oktober 2010

A network interface card (NIC) is a hardware device that handles an interface to a computer network and allows a network-capable device to access that network. The NIC has a ROM chip that contains a unique number, the media access control (MAC) Address burned into it. The MAC address identifies the device uniquely on the LAN. The NIC exists on the 'Data Link Layer' (Layer 2) of the OSI model.

A network interface card, network adapter, network interface controller (NIC), or LAN adapter is a computer hardware component designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network. It is both an OSI layer 1 (physical layer) and layer 2 (data link layer) device, as it provides physical access to a networking medium and provides a low-level addressing system through the use of MAC addresses. It allows users to connect to each other either by using cables or wirelessly.

Although other network technologies exist (e.g. Token Ring), Ethernet has achieved near-ubiquity since the mid-1990s. Every Ethernet network card has a unique 48-bit serial number called a MAC address, which is stored in ROM carried on the card. Every computer on an Ethernet network must have a card with a unique MAC address. Normally it is safe to assume that no two network cards will share the same address, because card vendors purchase blocks of addresses from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and assign a unique address to each card at the time of manufacture.

Madge 4/16Mbps TokenRing ISA NIC

Ethernet 10Base-5/2 ISA NIC

Whereas network cards used to be expansion cards that plug into a computer bus, the low cost and ubiquity of the Ethernet standard means that most newer computers have a network interface built into the motherboard. These either have Ethernet capabilities integrated into the motherboard chipset or implemented via a low cost dedicated Ethernet chip, connected through the PCI (or the newer PCI express) bus. A separate network card is not required unless multiple interfaces are needed or some other type of network is used. Newer motherboards may even have dual network (Ethernet) interfaces built-in.

source of wikipedia