TCP/IP local area network adapter cards

The network adapter card is the hardware that is physically attached to the network cabling. It is responsible for receiving and transmitting data at the physical level.

The network adapter card is controlled by the network adapter device driver.

A machine must have one network adapter card (or connection) for each network (not network type) to which it connects. For instance, if a host attaches to two token-ring networks, it must have two network adapter cards.

TCP/IP uses the following network adapter cards and connections:

  • Standard Ethernet Version 2
  • IEEE 802.3
  • Token-ring
  • Asynchronous adapters and native serial ports
  • Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)
  • Serial Optical Channel Converter (described in Kernel Extensions and Device Support Programming Concepts)
  • Fibre Channel

The Ethernet and 802.3 network technologies use the same type of adapter.

Each machine provides a limited number of expansion slots, some or all of which you might wish to use for communications adapters. Additionally, each machine supports a limited number of communications adapters of a given type. Within these limits (software limitations), you can install any combination of adapters up to the total number of expansion slots available in your machine (hardware limitations).

Only one Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) interface is configurable regardless of the number of Serial Optical Channel Converters supported by the system. The Serial Optical device driver makes use of both channel converters even though only one logical TCP/IP interface is configured.