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Industrial Communications Handbook
By Mick Crabtree
Chapter 3: Industrial Ethernet
Originally developed by Xerox, Ethernet is based on the ALOHA radio network set up at the University of Hawaii. An Ethernet consortium, comprising Xerox, DEC and Intel, the DIX consortium, gave rise to what is termed the ‘Ethernet Blue Book 2’ specification or, more commonly, ‘Ethernet’.
Ethernet is a peer-to-peer network based on the Carrier Sense Multiple Access/ Collision Detect (CSMA/CD) access protocol and uses ‘baseband’ transmission. As distinct from a ‘broadband’ transmission system, in which a number of transmissions can take place simultaneously using multiple carriers, baseband transmission uses the full bandwidth of the system for a single transmission. Ethernet networks can be configured in either star or bus topology and installed using any one of three different media as defined by the IEEE 802.3 standard.