6.7. Media Independent Interface

All Ethernet transmission systems defined by the 802.3 standards share the same MAC protocol. The 802.3-defined MAC basically needs to know if the medium is free before the transmission and if there is a collision during the transmission. Therefore, different physical layers can be presented to the MAC through a common interface encompassing these sensing and transmission capabilities. A Media Independent Interface is defined in the Ethernet standards to separate the common MAC function from different physical layer transmission systems. This separation is very valuable to a multiple physical layer capable Ethernet transceiver as well as to the organization of technology development efforts. Besides these media-sensing ...

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