History of the Ethernet Cable

By | April 5, 2018

The Ethernet cable became widely used in the early eighties. Ethernet cable originally was 10BASE5 cable, which is what most people refer to as coaxial cable. Most people identify coaxial cable as the cable that connects the television set to the cable TV connection. Generally, coaxial cable is very thick and quite inflexible. One of the nicknames that technical people use to refer to coaxial is Thicknet. Thicknet was somewhat restrictive and difficult to work with. In the mid-eighties a solution to thicknet was born; 10BASE2 cable. 10BASE2 cable offered pliability and was much thinner and easier to work with. The advances over its predecessor 10BASE5 were remarkable, earning 10BASE2 the nickname of Thinnet.

Ethernet was developed by Robert Metcalfe of Xerox in their Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1972. Metcalfe needed something that was fast and could connect many computers together within an office. Ethernet was developed as a frame based computer networking technology. The idea of Ethernet is based around supporting a local area network. Ethernet was originally intended as a method to share media technology. Originally in this environment, all of the work stations compete to get access to the common transmitter station. However, as technology evolved this limitation was removed. In the a newer versions of Ethernet, technology was developed where stations are not competing for transmission resources.

What Travels over the Ethernet Cable
The Ethernet cable carries data in a variety of ways:

Auto Negotiation is when the network devices figure out whether both on either end of an Ethernet cable are capable of transmitting data.
Full Duplex is the method where the data can travel both ways simultaneously.
Half Duplex is when the data can only has the capability to travel in one direction. This method is slower than full duplex. In addition to a reduction of speed and capabilities, the half duplex method is very unreliable, often times failing to connect at all.
Much of the advances in Ethernet technology created the need for advancements in Ethernet cable. The Ethernet cable is the cable that is used to connect computers, hubs, switches, and routers to a network. An Ethernet cable is actually a piece of computer equipment. The cable resembles a phone line or data cable. Ethernet Cables connect computers to a network for a many different reasons. You use these cables to connect to modems or routers as they transmit data using the Ethernet protocol.

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