Frames are a stream of binary octets of data of some arbitrary length that are transmitted by the physical hardware and often separated by special markers ath the beginning and end of the frame. The term frame is used to describe the actual transmission of ones and zeroes at the physical layer. Information in the frame is organized into fields. The organization of the information in a frame is protocol-dependent; that is, the contents and organization of a frame depends upon which physical layer network protocol is transmitting the frame. Frames generated by different protocols are not compatible and cannot be used together on the same physical network segment.

Types of Frames

  • Ethernet
  • FastEthernet
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Token Ring
  • Serial

Contents of Frames

Frames contain any or all of the following fields:

  • Start of Frame Delimiter / Start bit(s)
  • Media Access Control Addresses (MAC)
    • Destination MAC
    • Source MAC
  • Type
  • Length
  • Payload / Data
  • Checksum
  • End of Frame Delimiter / End Bit(s)

Ethernet and IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Frames

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