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Visual Networking Overview - The OSI Model - Physical Layer
Exhibit 13-1 in the Gallery of Visual Networking
13. OSI Model Series
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Physical Layer of the OSI Model
Illustration of the physical layer of the OSI model with examples of common technologies found at that layer.

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This diagram illustrates the Physical layer (Layer 1) of the OSI model. The Physical layer is responsible for the ultimate transmission of data over network communications media. It operates with data in the form of bits that are sent from the Physical layer of the sending (source) device and received at the Physical layer of the destination device. Ethernet cabling, Token Ring network technology and SCSI all function at the Physical layer of the OSI model. Hubs and other repeaters are standard network devices that function at the Physical layer. Cables and connectors also are a part of the Physical layer.

At the Physical layer, data are transmitted using the type of signaling supported by the physical medium:

  • electric voltages
  • radio frequencies
  • pulses of infrared or ordinary light

Related References - OSI Model Tutorial, Ethernet, hub
Next - OSI Model Data Link layer