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Difference between DTE and DCE

  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 22 Jun, 2020

1. Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) :
It includes any unit that functions either as a source of or as a destination for binary digital data. At physical layer, it can be a terminal, microcomputer, computer, printer, fax, machine or any other device that generates or consumes digital data. DTEs do not often communicate information but need an intermediary to be able to communicate.

2. Data Circuit Terminating Equipment (DCE) :
It includes any functional unit that transmit or receives data in form of an analog or digital signal through a network. At physical layer, a DCE takes data generated by a DTE, converts them to an appropriate signal, and then introduces signal onto telecommunication link.

Commonly used DCEs at this layer include modems. In any network, a DTE generates digital data and passes them to a DCE. DCE converts that data to a form acceptable to transmission medium and sends converted signal to another DCE on network. The second DCE takes signal off line, converts it to a form usuable by its DTE, and delivers it.

Difference between DTE and DCE :

1DTE stands for Data Termination Equipment.DCE stands for Data Communication Equipment.
2It is a device that is an information source or an information sink.It is a device used as an interface between a DTE.
3DTE is concerned with source or destination of data.DCE is concerned with communications aspect of data.
4It produces data and transfers them to a DCE, with essential control characters.It converts signals to a format appropriate to transmission medium and introduces it onto network line.
5It is connected through help of a DCE network.DCE network acts as a medium for two DTE networks.
6Examples of DTE include computers, printers and routers, etc.Examples of DCE include modem, ISDN adaptors, satellites and network interface cards, etc.

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