EE/CMPEN 362 is an elective course in both the electrical and computer engineering curricula which provides an overview of the broad field of data and computer communications. First, a general model of the communication task is presented, including the layered concept by which each layer provides services for the layer above. Next, the lowest (physical) layer is studied. This involves signal design, Fourier analysis representations, bandwidth concepts, transmission impairments and communication media properties. Then the next higher (link) layer is considered, which involves organizing bits into frames, data link and error control methods (including frame sequence numbering and error detection principles). Multiplexing to share a link is studied, including frequency division multiplexing, dedicated time division multiplexing, and statistical time multiplexing.
At the network layer level, there are two categories: broadcast (usually local area) and switching networks. Broadcast and local area network studies include bus, tree and star topologies, Ethernet, optical fiber bus networks, ring networks, and medium access control protocols.
Switching and routing concepts for networks are explained, including both circuit and packet switching, datagrams and virtual circuits. Properties of frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks are described. Internetworking frame structures, routing and protocols are studied. Also, bridge routing for local networks is described.
At the still higher transport (network end-to-end control) layer, transport protocols, including TCP/IP, are described.