In electronics, transceivers are solid-state devices that have both a transmitter and a receiver in a single unit. The unit should be capable of receiving and sending digital signals through a cable. Technically, transceivers should be able to combine a significant amount of the transmitter and receiver handling circuitry. Transceivers are similar in function to other devices such as transponders, transverters, and repeaters. Transceivers are also used in computer networks, radio technology and telephony.
Every communication network has its own transceivers such as computer to terminals communication, CAN-bus used for industrial and automotive networks, LIN-bus used for automotive sub networks, and DC-BUS which is used for automotive DC powerline communication.
There are various types of transceivers which include:
- Network: These transceivers transmit and receive digital or analog signals in a LAN. In many LANs, the transceiver is built directly into the network interface card. However in some forms of networks an external transceiver is needed.
- Radio Frequency (RF) Transceivers: These units receive, demodulate and transmit radio frequency signals.
- Fiber optic transceivers: These devices transmit and receive digital signals through fiber optic cables and offer clarity and efficiency. They are arranged in parallel so they are able to function independently of each other. Both the receiver and the transmitter have their own circuitry which enables them to handle transmissions in both directions.
- Duplex transceivers enable transmission simultaneously in two directions.
While selecting the proper transceiver you need to specify certain things such as: the transceiver type, the application and the network protocol attributes which specify the data packet structure and software.
Some standard protocols used are AppleTalk, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Controller Area Network (CANBus), AARCNet, DeviceNet, Skinny, Ethernet, ISDN, IP Telephony, Gigabit Ethernet, etc. It is possible for data to be sent and received in the Teraflops range.
You also need to consider the number and types of ports. Standard types of ports are: AUI, BNC, FireWire, Serial, parallel, USB, ISDN, BRI, U and S/T, etc. The devices can come as hardened products that can withstand rough use, be stackable or rack mounted with LED indicators.