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IT Network Environment - Physical Layer in the OSI Reference Model

Alan Antony

The physical layer is the first layer of the OSI reference model. The physical layer deals with bit-level data transmission between different devices.

This layer plays with most of the network’s physical connections - wireless transmission, cabling, cabling standards, connectors, NIC cards, and lot more as per the networking requirements.

The main functions of the Physical layers are as follows:

  1. Hardware Specifications: The details of the operations – cables, connectors, NIC cards are all defined under this category.
  2. Encoding and Transmission: The physical layer is responsible for the successful encoding and transmission of data bits across the network
  3. Date Reception: The Physical layer of course is responsible for the reception of data across a wired as well as wireless environment.

The Physical layer in fact deals with the transmission of actual ones and zeros over the Network. The lower level devices absolutely have no idea about the contents they are transmitting. They just take the input bits and transmit them as output.

Examples of protocols that works in Physical Layers :

  • DSL
  • USB
  • IR
  • Bluetooth
  • Ethernet

 

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