What Are the Two Primary Responsibilities of the Ethernet MAC Sublayer?
The two primary responsibilities of the Ethernet MAC sublayer are:
- Media Access Control (MAC)
- Frame Formatting
Media Access Control (MAC)
The MAC sublayer is responsible for ensuring that only one device on a network has control over the transmission medium at any given time. It does this by using Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), which is an algorithm that senses the network medium to determine if there is a signal present before attempting to transmit data.
The MAC sublayer also ensures that all frames sent through the Ethernet adhere to a specific format known as the Ethernet frame, which includes information such as source and destination addresses, length of the frame, type of frame, and data. The MAC sublayer also ensures that frames are properly formatted and free of errors before they are sent onto the Ethernet network.
Some Other Responsibilities of the Ethernet MAC Sublayer
If we look into other responsibilities of the Ethernet MAC sublayer, then these are:
Addressing: The MAC sublayer assigns and maintains unique addresses for each device on the network.
Error Detection/Correction: The MAC sublayer checks received frames for errors and can request retransmission if necessary.
Flow Control: The MAC sublayer can control the rate at which frames are sent, allowing for more efficient use of bandwidth.
Frame Delivery: The MAC sublayer is also responsible for delivering frames to the correct destination address.
Frame Reassembly: The MAC sublayer assembles fragmented frames into a single frame before giving them to higher layers.
Priority Queuing: The MAC sublayer can prioritize certain types of traffic, such as real-time traffic, over other types of traffic.
Security: The MAC sublayer can ensure that data is only sent to and from authorized devices on the Ethernet network.