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Local Area High Speed Networks by Dr. Sidnie Feit

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Main Bridge/Switch Functions

A bridge carries out three main functions:

  • It improves performance by keeping local traffic within a limited part of the LAN.

  • It makes it possible to build a mixed-speed LAN. For example, traffic must be bridged between a 10Mbps Ethernet segment and a 100Mbps segment, or a 100Mbps segment and a 1000Mbps segment. Note that a 10/100Mbps or 100/1000Mbps "hub" contains a hidden bridge.

  • It extends the area covered by a LAN. The size of a collision domain is limited by rules that restrict cable lengths and the number of repeatersin a path. The scope of these rules ends when a frame reaches a bridge port. The frame makes a fresh start when it is transmitted out another bridge port.

For example, in Figure 12.1 most of the ...

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