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Defintion: DTE & DCE


DTE is acronym for Data Terminal Equipment.

Examples of DTE is computers, printers & terminals.


DCE is acronym for Data Communication Equipment.

Examples of DCE is modems.


Wiring a cable for DTE to DCE communication is easy. All wires goes straight from pin x to pin x.

But wiring a cable for DTE to DTE (nullmodem) or DCE to DCE requires that some wires are crossed. A signal should be wired from pin x to the opposite signal at the other end. With opposite signals means for example Transmit & Receive.

Contributors: Joakim Ögren, Richard L. Lane, Rob Gill


Copyright © The Hardware Book Team 1996-2001.
May be copied and redistributed, partially or in whole, as appropriate.
Document last modified: 2001-06-08