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    Line Interface ICs

    Line interface ICs (integrated circuits) are semiconductor devices that have been manufactured to manage communications going in and out of a computer system. These types of interface ICs are widely utilised within communication circuits of computer system units such as ethernet ports.

    Types of line interface ICs

    There are a wide range of these semiconductor interface ICs that have varied operating functions such as;

    Differential line drivers -  Differential line drivers are electrical devices that convey analogue signals, audio or otherwise, across distances with minimal noise pick up. Information in differential line drivers is transmitted using two complementary signals. They send the same electrical signal as two different signals, each on a conductor of its own. The conductors can either be traces on a circuit board or wires that are twisted together.

    The voltage between the two signals and not the difference between a single wire and earth (a common return path for electric current), prompts a response by the receiving circuit. Differential line drivers resist electromagnetic noise once the difference between wires has been detected by the receiving circuit.

    Line drivers - The main operating function for these types of ICs are for driving a load such as a transmission line. Output impedance can be matched to that of -the transmission line. Drivers ICs are used within digital systems for communicating digital signals across cables.

    Differential line receivers - Differential line receivers are ICs that can interpret differential voltage signals into standard logic signals. They are often combined with differential voltage drivers to form transceivers.

    Line Transceivers - Transceivers are ICs that are used in electronic equipment to enable the ability to send signals from a transmitter, through a channel interconnect, and then into a receiver on the opposite end of the line.

    Line transmitters - Transmitters ICs are designed for multipoint data transmission used for Signal Processing and Industrial applications.

    Applications of line interface ICs

    These types of interface ICs are used in a wide array of applications such as;

    • LED displays
    • Network switches
    • Telecom infrastructure
    • Signal processing
    • Dynamic range processors
    • Digital effects processors
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