NIC - Network Interface Card
NIC - Network Interface Card is almost
necessary for directly connecting computers and other devices to networks.
You don't necessarily need them in all situations, for example, when you
use a dial up connection a modem displaces the need for a NIC. The
NIC translates the parallel signal produced by the computer into a serial
format to be sent over a network. The 0s and 1s of binary
communication are translated into electrical impulses, light pulses, radio
waves or whatever signal medium is being used.
When selecting a NIC it is important to consider the following issues.
Use and Configuration. Configuring NICs is actually pretty similar to configuring a modem. You might need to set some or all of the following.
You might need to configure other parameters if the NIC is a combo card which can be used with different media types.
Most NICs make use of either IRQ 3 or IRQ 5 and will come with a default set.
IRQ stands for "Interrupt Request." PCs use interrupt
requests to manage various hardware operations. Devices such as sound
cards, modems, and keyboards can all send interrupt requests to the
processor. For example, when the modem needs to run a process, it sends an
interrupt request to the CPU saying, "Hey, hold up, let me do my thing!"
The CPU then interrupts its current job to let the modem run its process.
The following table lists the standard devices or processes associated with each IRQ. Many of these devices are not going to be on all computers and then their IRQ can be used for other things.
|VGA Graphics Adapter||2 (9)|
|COM 2 and COM 4 (secondary serial port)||3|
|COM 1 and COM 3 (primary serial port)||4|
|Secondary parallel port (LPT2) or sound card||5|
|Floppy disk controller||6|
|Primary parallel port (LPT1)||7|
|Real time clock||8|
|Primary SCSI controller||10|
|Secondary SCSI controller||11|
|Primary IDE controller||14|
|Secondary IDE controller||15|
|Hopefully you remember the
earlier definition, but anyway, the
I/O Port is a
channel through which data is transferred between
the hardware device and the processor. These
port numbers are designated using hexadecimal
numbers. The ports that are usually
available for the NIC are
To also reiterate from an earlier page, a memory address is a location in RAM used for the storage of pertinent incoming and outgoing data. These are usually set by default by the manufactrurer. Some NICs do not make use of the computer's memory for this and so don't need an assigned memory address.