With the exponential growth in IT, optical communication has become a crucial transmission medium in the 21st century. The fundamental component in network communication is the switch module also known as Network Card.
Network Card in a Nutshell
A network card serves as a connectivity interface between the computer and network cable. It encodes and converts the data sent by the computer into an electrical form that can be transmitted to another computer on the network via network cable and controls the flow of data traffic between the computer and cable. It also decodes the data coming from the cable into a binary format as to be understood by a computer.
Cisco Network Card
Cisco Network Card also known as Cisco Switch Module can be classified according to the network coverage they support. For instance:
Cisco WAN interface cards (WICs) support WAN technologies, such as Gigabit Ethernet
Cisco Voice interface cards (VICs) support voice data
Cisco Voice/WAN interface cards (VWICs) support applications having voice and data I/O medium
Enhanced High-speed WAN interface cards (EHWIC) incorporate hybrids of LAN and WAN capabilities and support Gigabit Ethernet and Ethernet switching.
Cisco Network Card - Configuration & Compatibility
Each Cisco Network Card possess a unique address, known as a MAC address, assigned by Cisco Systems, Inc. The MAC address allows the particular interface card to be uniquely identified among all the network cards in the world by Cisco and other manufacturers.
Network cards are configurable and possess hardware interrupts (IRQ), the I/O address and the memory address (DMA).
To check whether a computer and network card are compatible, the Network card must be compatible with the system’s data bus architecture and have a suitable socket type. Cisco Network cards are designed to support a particular kind of cable (Some cards support multiple interface connectors). For instance, you can not use fibre optic cable in Ethernet switch and vice versa. The most widely used are RJ-45 ethernet connectors to plug ethernet cables also known as RJ-45 cables.