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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Duplex

It is important that you understand duplex logic and how it affects traffic on a network. The communication mode of a device may either be half-duplex or full-duplex, depending on the connection type.

Half-duplex allows for one-way communication, which means that a device can only send or receive a data transmission at any given time. This option does not allow for simultaneously sending and receiving data. As part of a shared collision domain, hubs are inherently set up for half-duplex. Bandwidth suffers because a collision detection technology such as the CSMA/CD algorithm must be implemented. Collision detection can chew up 50–60% of the bandwidth on that ethernet LAN.

Full-duplex allows for two-way communication, which means that a device can simultaneously send and receive data transmissions. Full-duplex is available with dedicated switch port connections to a single device. If a switch port connection is configured for full-duplex, the CSMA/CD algorithm must be disabled. An ethernet connection set for full-duplex allows for 100% transmission speeds in both directions. For example, a 100Mbps connection can transmit data simultaneously at 100Mbps in each direction.

With ethernet, if a switch port and NIC offer multiple speed options as well as half- and full-duplex settings, autonegotiation can be configured on both devices. The switch and NIC automatically negotiate the connection speed and duplex so that the settings on both ends match. You may have heard of a 10/half or 100/full connection before. The term 10/half refers to a 10Mbps half-duplex connection. It is more likely that you will see 100/full, which indicates a 100Mbps full-duplex connection.

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