- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Jun 2017
To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
Ethernet is a standard for the technologies that make up a wired local area network (LAN). It was first developed in the 1970’s by Robert Metcalfe at Xerox and went on to be developed by Xerox, DEC, and Intel. It was standardised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) as IEEE 802.3 in 1983.
Ethernet was originally conceived as a way of enabling computers to communicate over a shared cable. Ethernet originally used coaxial cable, but now commonly uses twisted-pair copper cable such as CAT5 or fibre optic cable.
The simplest Ethernet connects a number of devices on a single cable. Streams of data that are transmitted between devices are divided into ‘frames’ with a source and destination address. If more than one device is transmitting at the same time, and frames ‘collide’ and are corrupted, then they are re-transmitted. More complex variations allow devices to run with much reduced corruption, and full duplex modes allow devices to communicate simultaneously without ‘collision’.
Ethernet is now the most widely used standard for local area networks (LAN). Local area networks are networks used to connect a number of devices together that are located within a relatively small area, typically within a single building. This is as opposed to wide area networks (WAN) which are used to connect devices on a dedicated line across a large distance, such as across a city.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building information modelling.
- Common data environment.
- Computer aided design.
- Computer aided manufacturing.
- Computers in building design.
- Global Unique IDs (GUIDs).
- ICT and Automation (ICTA) Scoping Study Report.
- In-building wireless.
- Information and communications technology.
- Internet of things.
- Local area network.
- Power over ethernet.
- Project extranet.
- Smart buildings.
- Smart cities.
Featured articles and news
The David Lloyd Lymington Sports Village was 'Commended' in CIAT's 2018 AT Awards.
How do we make the smart city a reality?
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has been awarded the UK’s highest honour for architecture.
Protecting the construction industry from Brexit.
Conceiving buildings collaboratively, testing them virtually.
Effective collaboration in post-disaster response and recovery
How do you prepare a claim for an extension of time and ensure it isn't rejected?
How innovative ‘design thinking’ may lead to new surface-water solutions.
What will be this year's office design trends?
Enhancing sustainability and resilience in disaster response.
What are EIAs, why are they needed and for which type of project?