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Inverse multiplexing

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Inverse multiplexing:
A networking technique that speeds up data transmission by dividing a data stream into multiple, concurrent streams that are simultaneously transmitted across separate channels (such as T-1 or E-1 lines) and are then reconstructed at the other end back into the original data stream. Inverse multiplexing is the reverse of ordinary multiplexing, which combines multiple signals into a single signal. It's commonly used where data in a high-speed LAN flows back and forth into a WAN across the bottleneck of a slower line such as a T-1 (1.544Mb/s). By using multiple T-1 lines, the data stream can be load-balanced across all of the lines simultaneously. As a general rule, inverse multiplexing across up to eight T-1 lines (or E-1 lines in Europe and elsewhere) is said to be less expensive than the cost of renting a T-3 (45Mb/s) line. Inverse multiplexing is also sometimes used in combination with frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) transmission, and is sometimes called inverse muxing or imuxing.

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This was first published in June 2003

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