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I'm looking for what the abbreviation means.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

"b" is "Base", "T" means twisted pair, and "x" differentiates from 100bT (they have different frequencies). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_over_twisted_pair has some details.

"Base", in turn, is short for "Baseband", which means the signal is the only one on the wire at a time.

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There was no 100Base-T, There was 100Base-T2, 100Base-T4, and 100Base-TX. –  Chris S Jan 20 '11 at 21:48
    
There are a few mentions of 100BASE-T (no X) on the WP page. I don't know if they exist or not. If not, edit? :) –  Bill Weiss Jan 22 '11 at 1:05

As others have said, the 'b' stands for 'baseband'. However the existing explanations aren't clear so I'll add some info. There are two ways to transmit information over wires: baseband and broadband. An example of broadband is (analog) cable TV: all the channels are combined together on one wire at once. The receiver selects different parts of the transmission spectrum to select different channels. You could receive every channel at once if your receiver were designed that way.

With baseband, only one signal is sent over the wire. That's simpler for digital transmission because the receiver doesn't have to do all the work of selecting 'channels' - there's just one. That channel contains the digital information (signal modulations) that are processed by the receiver into a data stream.

Obviously that's a greatly simplified answer, but that is the gist of baseband vs. broadband.

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Very informative! –  Mei Jan 13 '11 at 20:45
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Funny aside: I had a Customer who had an old, creaky 10BROAD36 network around their campus (running on a campus-wide cable TV system). Quite the odd thing, it... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10BROAD36 –  Evan Anderson Jan 14 '11 at 1:19

It stands for the type of base transmission.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Ethernet

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The b is 'base', short for baseband. T is 'twisted pair'. X is just an identifier to distinguish this from other standards.

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