Network Cards FAQ
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This article contains frequently asked questions on Interface Card....

1.What is a network interface card?
 
A network card is a piece of hardware that permits a computer to participate in a computer network.There are different kinds of networks, such as Ethernet or wireless LAN. The network cards are different depending on the network. Sometimes the network card is integrated on the motherboard. Each network card has a unique number;this is used for addressing. It is called the MAC address. MAC addresses can be used to obtain an IP address (in those network cards that use IP).


2.How to use the network interface card?
 
Plugs into expansion slot provides physical interface between computer and network medium.


3.What are the tasks performed by network interface card?

Establishes and manages computer’s network connection.Translates data into signals for outgoing messages and translates signals for incoming messages.


4.Explain how network adapters prepare data for transmission?
 
NIC translates parallel into serial for outgoing messages and serial into parallel for incoming messages.


5.What are the Principles of NIC Configuration
 
Match NIC to slot on PC or external connection such as USB.Plug and Play usually configures NIC recognized by power-on self-test (POST) .If necessary, manually configure NIC.
NIC configuration involves three settings:

  1. Interrupt Request line (IRQ)
  2. Base I/O port
  3. Base memory address


6.what is the role of MAC in a network interface card?

NIC has unique identifier, called Media Access Control (MAC) address.Programmed into ROM chip48-bit number, written as six two-digit hexadecimal numbers separated by colons:

  1. First part identifies manufacturer
  2. Second part unique to each NIC 


7.Name the types of NICs which  deliver specialized capabilities?
 
Several type of NICs deliver specialized capabilities Wireless Adapters Remote Boot Adapters


8.What you mean by Wireless Adapters?
 
Include some or all of these components:

  1. Indoor antenna and antenna cable
  2. Software to enable adapter to work with particular network environment
  3. Diagnostic software to check installation or troubleshoot
  4. Installation software
  5. Remote Boot Adapters
  6. Used with wireless access point to add wireless devices to existing wired network.Keep in mind the standard you need: 802.11a, 
  7. 802.11b, 802.11g


9.What you mean by Remote Boot Adapters?
 
Disk less workstations boot up by reading information from disk NIC has Boot PROM (programmable read-only memory) that is PXE (pre-boot execution environment) compliant Includes hardwired code to start computer and access the network


10.what is the advantage of Remote Boot Adapters?
 
Remote boot adapters include cost saving, better reliability, and increased security


11.Which are the  techniques  used for  transferring data?
 
Polling is where the CPU examines the status of the peripheral under program control.
Programmed I/O is where the microprocessor alerts the designated peripheral by applying its address to the system's address bus.Interrupt-driven I/O is where the peripheral alerts the microprocessor that it is ready to transfer data.Direct memory access is where an intelligent peripheral assumes control of the system bus to access memory directly. This removes from the CPU but requires a separate processor on the card.


12.What is the use of packets in NICs?

Packets are basic unit of data for network transmission and reception.NICs create packets of bits.Transmit packets serially onto medium.Act as gatekeeper, allowing only inbound packets intended for its computer.


13.Explain the role of driver software in network adapters?

Small specialized program that manages communications between operating system and NIC .Poorly written or incorrect drivers may prevent PC from booting or may have detrimental impact on network performance.Earlier, each NIC vendor built its own driver


14.what are the major vendor standards for drivers?

Network Device Interface Specification (NDIS) defines interface between MAC sublayer and NIC driver; lets NIC use multiple protocols.Win32 Driver Model (WDM) defines interface for PCs with modern Windows operating systems; improves driver quality by network interface controllers were commonly implemented on expansion cards that plug into a computer busdividing drivers by  function.Open Data-link Interface (ODI) defined by Apple and Novell allows NIC to use multiple protocols


15.How the driver is installing?
 
Installing NIC driver is usually easy.Many operating systems include drivers for most popular NICs or NICs may come with drivers.Most   installation programs provide GUI to help with installation.User supplies configuration information if necessary such as IRQ and base  I/O port


16.what are the specialized capabilities included in NICs?
 
Some NICs include specialized capabilities, such as hot plug, dual ports, security settings, management interfaces, wireless communications, and remote boot support.


17.where the network interface controllers were commonly implementing?

 
The network interface controllers were commonly implementation expansion cards that plug into a computer bus


18.what is the reason for NIC built in motherboard?
 
Low cost and ubiquity of the Ethernet standard means that most newer computers have a network interface built into the motherboard.


19.why NIC is implementing in electronic circuitry?
 
The network controller implements the electronic circuitry required to communicate using a specific physical layer and data link     layer standard such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Token Ring.


20.what is the benefit for using NIC implements on electronic circuitry
 
This provides a base for a full network protocol stack, allowing communication among small groups of computers on the same LAN and    large-scale network communications through routable protocols, such as IP.


21.Explain about transceiver?
 
Designed for specific medium.NIC accesses transceiver to transmit data.Some NICs include transceiver.


22.what is mean by Ethernet?
 
Ethernet can use variety of media.Some Ethernet NICs offer multiple interfaces.Newer NICs have only one type of media connector


23.Explain about PC buses?
 
Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) uses 8- or 16- bit bus with top speed of 10 MHz – essentially obsolete.Extended Industry  Standard Architecture (EISA) offers 32-bit bus – obsolete.Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) is IBM’s proprietary 32-bit bus with speeds up to 66 MHz – largely obsolete


24.How to developing bus standards?
 
Currently in development is a serial-based bus called PCI Express (formerly named 3GIO) Will likely operate at speeds from 2.5 Gbps  to 10 Gbps .Because PCI Express can be set up in lanes, several lanes can be combined to provide tremendous transfer speeds are expected to reach 5 GBps and beyond


25.Name the PC interfaces used for Networking

 
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is serial interface for low-speed peripheral devices.FireWire (IEEE 1394) is high-speed serial bus with   bandwidth up to 400 Mbps used for digital cameras and video devices.New version, 1394b, supports transfers up to 3200 Mbps


26.Name the settings involved in NIC configuration ?

 
  1. Interrupt Request line (IRQ)
  2. Base I/O port
  3. Base memory address


27.count network adapter enhancements that can improve performance?

 
  1. Direct Memory Access (DMA)
  2. Shared adapter memory
  3. Shared system memory
  4. Bus mastering
  5. RAM buffering 
  6. On-board co-processors
  7. Security features
  8. Traffic management
  9. BFault tolerance
  10. Improved management features


28.Describe important characteristics for selecting adapter cards?


  • Bus width (16-bit is slower than 32-bit; pick PCI or PCI-X)
  • Bus type (pick 64-bit PCI-X for servers whenever possible)
  • Memory transfer (shared memory outpaces I/O or DMA)
  • Special features required (security, management, protocol handling, hot-plug capable)
  • Bus mastering (important for servers)
  • Vendor factors (quality, reliability, staying power, reputation)


29.Describe the role of NIC in a network adapter crd plays in networked communications?
 
  • Establishes physical link to networking medium
  • Generates signals that traverse networking medium
  • Receives incoming signals
  • Implements controls that determine when signals transmit to or are received from network medium


30.What is an Ethernet controller?

 
Every Ethernet network controller has a unique 48-bit serial number called a MAC address, which is stored in read-only memory. Every  computer on an Ethernet network must have at least one controller.


31.Which are the layers used in NIC?

 
The NIC allows computers to communicate over a computer network. It is both an OSI layer 1.physical layer and layer 2.data link layer  device, as it provides physical access to a networking medium and provides a low-level addressing system through the use of MAC  addresses. It allows users to connect to each other either by using cables or wirelessly.


32.What is the reason for assuming different address for different NICs?
 
Normally it is safe to assume that no two network controllers will share the same address, because controller vendors purchase blocks  of addresses from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and assign a unique address to each controller at the  time of manufacture.


33.Which are the PC interfaces used for networking?

 
Universal serial bus and Fire Wire


34.What you mean by the word polling?
 
Polling is where the CPU examines the status of the peripheral under program control.

35. USB stands for?

Universal Serial Bus


36.What you mean by parallel and serial data transmission?
 
Most computers use parallel data lines, called a bus, to send data between CPU and adapter cards.Most networking media transmits data  in single line, called serial transmission.NIC translates parallel into serial for outgoing messages and serial into parallel for  incoming messages


37.How to connect NIC on motherboard?

 
A 1990s Ethernet network interface controller card which connects to the motherboard via the now-obsolete ISA bus. This combination  card features both a (now obsolete) bayonet cap BNC connector (left) for use in coaxial-based 10base2 networks and an 8P8C connector  (right) for use in twisted pair-based 10baseT networks. (The ports could not be used simultaneously.)


38.Name networks used?
 

  • Fast EthernetGigabit Ethernet
  • Optical fiber
  • Token ring
  • Speeds    10 Mbit/s
  • 100 Mbit/s
  • 1000 Mbit/s
  • up to 160 Gbit/s
  • Common manufacturers Novell
  • Intel
  • Realtek


39.How to develop bus standards?

Currently in development is a serial-based bus called PCI Express (formerly named 3GIO) Will likely operate at speeds from 2.5 Gbps    to 10 Gbps.Because PCI Express can be set up in lanes, several lanes can be combined to provide tremendous transfer speeds
Speeds are expected to reach 5 GBps and beyond


40.Name the  networking media transmits data in single line?


Serial transmission.


41.Where the NIC act as a mediator?

Mediate communication between computer and networkcable.


42.Define bus width?
  
Bus width refers to number of parallel lines, each able to move one bit at a time.


43.Define universal Serial Bus?
 
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is serial interface for low-speed peripheral devices


44.Define FireWire?
 
Fire Wire (IEEE 1394) is high-speed serial bus with bandwidth up to 400 Mbps used for digital cameras and video devices
New version, 1394b, supports transfers up to 3200 Mbps


45.Which are the three settings involves in NIC configuration?

 
NIC configuration involves three settings:
  • Interrupt Request line (IRQ)
  • Base I/O port
  • Base memory addres


46.What is a Boot PROM?

 
Boot PROM is Programmable read-only Memory that is PXE (pre-boot execution environment) compliant.


47.Define NDIS?
 
Network Device Interface Specification (NDIS) defines interface between MAC sublayer and NIC driver; lets NIC use multiple protocols.


48.Define WDM?
 
Win32 Driver Model (WDM) defines interface for PCs with modern Windows operating systems; improves driver quality by dividing drivers by function.


49.Define ODI?
 
Open Data-link Interface (ODI) defined by Apple and Novell allows NIC to use multiple protocols.


50.Which are the checklist consider selecting NIC?

 
  • Bus width: wider is better, use PCI or PCI-X
  • Bus type: use PCI-X for servers when possible
  • Memory transfer: shared memory outpaces I/O or DMA
  • Special features required: security, management, protocol handling, hot-plug capable
  • Bus mastering: important for servers
  • Vendor factors: quality, reliability, staying power, reputation





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arathy sudhakaran
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