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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A power line local area network : design and implementation Ma, Audivox Hing Ting


This thesis presents the development and implementation of two fundamental communication sublayers, medium access and logical link, for a new Local Area Network (LAN) which utilizes the intra-building power distribution circuit as physical transmission medium. This medium provides a low cost means for data communications with a high degree of portability. A low-to-medium data rate and a relatively high error rate are two of the major disadvantages associated with the use of the medium. The Logical Link Control (LLC) protocol adopted is a modified version of the IEEE 802.2 protocol; whereas, the Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol used is a simple hub polling scheme. For efficiency reason, both LLC and MAC sublayers are implemented in the kernel of the UNIX¹ operating system. The schemes used, justifications for the decisions made and their implementations are discussed in details in the thesis. The performance of the power line LAN formed with four Sun workstations² using modems with a data rate of 14.4 kilo-bit per second is measured and analyzed. ¹UNIX is a trademark of AT & T Bell laboratories. ²Sun workstation is a trademark of Sun Microsystems.

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