Difference Between Multiplexer and Demultiplexer

Multiplexer Vs. Demultiplexer: Explore What is the Difference Between Multiplexer and Demultiplexer?

Both- the multiplexer and demultiplexer are very common in the arena of network transmission. These are basically various techniques that multiplex the light signals over a signal of fiber link (optical). Before we get into the difference between multiplexer and demultiplexer, let us understand more about them. These both are basically WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing), CDM (Code Division Multiplexing), OTDM (Optical Time-Division Multiplexing).

Out of these, the WDM is the most common way in which one can use wavelengths for increasing bandwidth. They can do so by the process of multiplexing various optical signals (carriers) onto one single optical fiber. The WDM has two different types of wavelength patterns- the dense WDM and the coarse WDM. The DWDM basically uses the transmission window of the c-band, while the CWDM provides 18 channels across various silica fiber transmission windows.

What is a Multiplexer?

It is a type of data selector that is capable of taking several inputs and generating a single output. Thus, in this case, the input lines are 2n, and the output lines are 1. Here, n refers to the total number of selection lines. The multiplexer is basically a combinational circuit as it produces only one output even after accepting multiple data inputs.

The process of multiplexing is a technique that transmits various digital input signals, analog signals, or streams of data over a single channel. The technique basically integrates various channels of low-speed into one high-speed one for the process of transmission. Here, it effectively utilizes the high-speed channel.

When using multiplexing communication, a carrier can easily avoid the maintenance of multiple lines- thus saving the operating costs. An electronic device that performs the process of multiplexing is called a multiplexer. It is basically a hardware component combining multiple analog or digital signals (inputs) into a single transmission line.

What is a Demultiplexer?

It is a type of data distributor that takes one single input and generates multiple outputs. Thus, in the case of a demultiplexer, we only have 1 input line, while the number of output lines is 2n. Here, n represents the selection line.

A demultiplexer basically acts as a combinational circuit that is capable of accepting only one data input but directs it through various outputs. In short, it’s a reverse process to that of a multiplexer- but they both aren’t opposite. It reconverts a signal (with streams of the analog or digital signal) back into its unrelated and separate signals (original signals).

Inverse multiplexing is the opposite of the multiplexing process. It basically breaks one stream of data into multiple related streams of data. The major difference between inverse multiplexing and the process of demultiplexing is that- demultiplexing generates unrelated output streams while inverse multiplexing generates related streams of output.

Difference Between Multiplexer and Demultiplexer

Parameters Multiplexer Demultiplexer
Definition Multiplexer refers to a type of combinational circuit that accepts multiple inputs of data but provides only a single output. The demultiplexer refers to the type of combinational circuit that accepts just a single input but directs it through multiple outputs.
Technique of Conversion A Multiplexer performs conversion from parallel to serial. A Demultiplexer performs conversion from serial to parallel.
Common Name Data Selector Data Distributor
Operational Principle Multiplexer works on an operational principle of many to one. Demultiplexer works on an operational principle of one to many.
Configuration of Devices It behaves as a data selector because the multiplexer is an N to 1 device. It behaves as a data distributor because the demultiplexer is a 1 to N device.
Total Number of Data Inputs It has multiple inputs of data and signals. It has a single input of data and signals.
Total Number of Data Outputs A Multiplexer generates a single output for data and signals. A Demultiplexer generates multiple outputs for data and signals.
Information Processing It processes the digital data and info by collecting them from multiple sources and integrating them into a single source as the output. It collects digital data and info from one single source/channel and then converts it into a set of multiple sources as the outputs.
Type of Digital Setup The multiplexer acts as a digital switch. The demultiplexer acts as a digital circuit.
Logic Type A multiplexer follows a logic type that is combinational. A demultiplexer also follows a combinational logic type.
End of Usage In the process of time-division Multiplexing, we use a Multiplexer at the end of the transmitter. In the process of time-division Multiplexing, we use a Demultiplexer at the end of the receiver.

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