Physical layer

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In the seven-layer OSI model of computer networking, the physical layer or layer 1 is the first (lowest) layer.[1] The implementation of this layer is often termed PHY.

The physical layer consists of the basic networking hardware transmission technologies of a network.[2] It is a fundamental layer underlying the logical data structures of the higher level functions in a network. Due to the plethora of available hardware technologies with widely varying characteristics, this is perhaps the most complex layer in the OSI architecture.

The physical layer defines the means of transmitting raw bits rather than logical data packets over a physical link connecting network nodes. The bit stream may be grouped into code words or symbols and converted to a physical signal that is transmitted over a hardware transmission medium. The physical layer provides an electrical, mechanical, and procedural interface to the transmission medium. The shapes and properties of the electrical connectors, the frequencies to broadcast on, the modulation scheme to use and similar low-level parameters, are specified here.

Within the semantics of the OSI network architecture, the physical layer translates logical communications requests from the data link layer into hardware-specific operations to effect transmission or reception of electronic signals.

Physical signaling sublayer[edit]

In a local area network (LAN) or a metropolitan area network (MAN) using open systems interconnection (OSI) architecture, the physical signaling sublayer is the portion of the physical layer that:[3][4]

List of services[edit]

The major functions and services performed by the physical layer are:

The physical layer is also concerned with

List of protocols[edit]

Hardware equipment (network node) examples[edit]

Relation to TCP/IP model[edit]

The TCP/IP model, defined in RFC 1122 and RFC 1123, is a high-level networking description used for the Internet and similar networks. It does not define an equivalent layer that deals exclusively with hardware-level specifications and interfaces, as this model does not concern itself directly with physical interfaces. Several RFCs mention a physical layer and data link layer, but that is in context of IEEE protocols. RFC 1122 and 1123 do not mention any physical layer functionality or physical layer standards.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banzal, Shashi (2007). Data and Computer Network Communication. Firewall Media. p. 41. 
  2. ^ Iyengar, Shisharama (2010). Fundamentals of Sensor Network Programming. Wiley. p. 136. 
  3. ^  This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document "Federal Standard 1037C".
  4. ^ "physical signaling sublayer (PLS)". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  5. ^ Bertsekas, Dimitri; Gallager, Robert (1992). Data Networks. Prentice Hall. p. 61. ISBN 0-13-200916-1. 

External links[edit]