Full Duplex Definition

Full duplex refers to a communications device or channel that is capable of simultaneous transmission in both directions.

This contrasts with half duplex, which refers to a communications device or channel that allows alternating transmission and reception, but not both simultaneously. Simplex refers to a one-way communications device or channel.

For example, ordinary telephones provide a full-duplex device because both parties can talk at the same time. In contrast, some walkie-talkies provide a half-duplex device because only one party can transmit at a time.

One of the advantages of using switches rather than hubs on a LAN (local area network) is that the former allow full duplex operation, and thus can effectively double bandwidth as compared with the latter, which only allow half-duplex operation.

Duplexing refers to the dividing of forward and reverse communication channels on the same physical communications medium. Other types of duplexing include time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD).

Created November 5, 2005.
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