Multiplexing In FE Electrical

Posted by Wasim Asghar on November 6th, 2023

Are you gearing up for the FE Electrical exam? Here’s a heads-up: Multiplexing might not be the flashiest term you’ll come across, but it’s an absolute must-know for acing the FE Electrical exam. It’s a vital exam topic according to the NCEES® syllabus and guidelines, and we’re about to break down this crucial topic to help prepare it in your FE preparation journey. Ready to explore multiplexing in the FE Electrical exam? Let’s start with the fundamentals.

The Need for Multiplexing

Implementing multiplexing in network communications is driven by two pivotal objectives:

  • Optimizing resource utilization
  • Facilitating communication between network devices.

These objectives address critical limitations in transmitting multiple signals separately while concurrently elucidating the role of multiplexing in enhancing the efficiency of communication channels.

Transmitting Multiple Signals Separately

Dedicated Connections – In the absence of multiplexing, a dedicated connection is necessitated between each pair of communicating devices. Such an arrangement imposes substantial infrastructure overhead regarding physical cabling and routing, thus rendering it impractical for large-scale, complex network architectures.

Scarcity of Resources – Network resources are often scarce and expensive, with bandwidth being a prime example. Transmitting signals separately is inefficient regarding resource utilization as it fails to leverage the full potential of the available infrastructure.

Inefficient Bandwidth Utilization – Transmitting multiple signals individually results in underutilization of available bandwidth, as each signal operates independently, and network resources may remain idle when not in use by specific devices.

How does Multiplexing help Resolve Limitations?

  • Shared Media and Statistical Multiplexing – Multiplexing addresses the limitations by enabling multiple signals to coexist on shared communication channels. Statistical multiplexing, a form of multiplexing, allows for efficient sharing of resources by allocating bandwidth dynamically per the connected devices’ requirements. This approach ensures optimal resource utilization without requiring dedicated connections.
  • Resource Conservation – Multiplexing, through its various techniques, such as time-division multiplexing (TDM) or frequency-division multiplexing (FDM), maximizes resource utilization by allocating time slots or frequency bands to different signals. This ensures network resources are conserved and shared effectively among numerous devices, thus economizing physical infrastructure and financial investments.
  • High Throughput and Scalability– Multiplexing fosters high throughput by concurrently transmitting multiple signals over the same channel, enhancing network scalability. With multiplexing, network architectures can accommodate increasing devices and applications without compromising performance.
  • Signal Isolation and Demultiplexing – The demultiplexing process at the receiving end effectively separates multiplexed signals, ensuring that each device receives the intended data stream. This enables individual devices to function as if connected through dedicated links despite the shared medium.
  • Adaptability to Diverse Network Topologies – Multiplexing techniques can be tailored to suit various network topologies: terrestrial or satellite communications, terrestrial fiber optics, or wireless networks. This adaptability ensures that multiplexing remains a fundamental mechanism for efficient resource utilization across diverse network infrastructures.

    How Multiplexing Works?

The multiplexing technique is utilized in network communications to optimize the efficient utilization of communication channels. At its core, multiplexing involves the combination of multiple signals into a single, shared data stream for concurrent transmission. 

This amalgamation can be achieved through various multiplexing techniques, such as Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) or Frequency-Division Multiplexing (FDM).

In practical terms, multiplexing is akin to merging multiple lanes of traffic onto a single highway, facilitating more efficient use of the shared road. This process significantly enhances the capacity and data throughput of the communication channel, enabling the simultaneous transmission of multiple data streams.

Upon arrival at the destination, the multiplexed signal is subject to demultiplexing. The demultiplexer precisely separates the composite signal, extracting and directing each constituent signal to its designated output line. 

This ensures that the original data streams are made available for further processing, analysis, or routing as if they had been transmitted through dedicated communication paths.

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Wasim Asghar

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Wasim Asghar
Joined: May 18th, 2016
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