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The Role of the Network Interface Card
Tag: The Role of the Network Interface Card Date:2016-03-10

Network interface cards, usually referred to as NICs, act as the physical interface or connection between the computer and the network cable.

Figure 2.24 shows a NIC with a coaxial-cable connection. The cards are installed in an expansion slot in each computer and server on the network.

After the NIC has been installed, the network cable is attached to the cards port to make the actual physical connection between the computer and the rest of the network.

Run the c02dem01 and c02dem02 videos located in the Demos folder on the CD accompanying this book to view a demonstration of how to install a network interface card (NIC).

Click to view at full size.

Figure 2.24 A sample NIC

The role of the NIC is to:

Prepare data from the computer for the network cable.

Send the data to another computer.

Control the flow of data between the computer and the cabling system.

Receive incoming data from the cable and translate it into bytes that can be understood by the computers central processing unit (CPU).

Stated at a more technical level, the NIC contains the hardware and firmware (software routines stored in read-only memory, ROM) programming that implements the Logical Link Control and Media Access Control functions in the data-link layer of the OSI reference model.