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EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Founded in 1924, the EIA is a U.S. organization of electronics manufacturers. The EIA has published a number of standards related to telecommunication and computer communication, and works closely with other associates such as ANSI and the ITU.

The primary EIA standards for telecommunication define the serial interface between modems and computers. The most popular are the RS-232-C, RS-449, RS-422, and RS-423 serial interfaces. The physical layer specifications define 37-pin (DB-37), 25-pin (DB-25), and 9-pin (DB-9) connectors and associated cable, as well as electrical characteristics such as the type of signal used on each pin and the timing of those signals. See "Serial Communication and Interfaces."

Note that the EIA RS-232 standard is also the CCITT standard V.24. CCITT is part of the ITU. The CCITT V series protocols are more commonly used than the EIA standards, partly because they are used in Europe where government standards dictate the type of protocol to be used. For the most part, EIA standards have CCITT equivalents. For example, the Group 3 facsimile, which is the fax machine standard for transmissions rates up to 9.6 Kbits/sec, is the CCITT Recommendation T.4 and the EIA-465 standard.

In the area of structured cabling for networks, the EIA has recently joined with the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) to create the Commercial Building Telecommunications Wiring Standards (TIA/EIA 568 and 569), which define hierarchical wiring systems in campus environments using data-grade twisted-pair wire. These standards provide a wiring structure that building designers can use to facilitate high-speed data communication equipment without the need to know in advance what that equipment will be.

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