1. <communications> (Or "multiple access") Combining several signals for transmission on some shared medium (e.g. a telephone wire).
The signals are combined at the transmitter by a multiplexor (a "mux") and split up at the receiver by a demultiplexor.
The communications channel may be shared between the independent signals in one of several different ways: time division multiplexing
, frequency division multiplexing
, or code division multiplexing
If the inputs take turns to use the output channel (time division multiplexing
) then the output bandwidth
need be no greater than the maximum bandwidth of any input.
If many inputs may be active simultaneously then the output bandwidth must be at least as great as the total bandwidth of all simultaneously active inputs.
In this case the multiplexor is also known as a concentrator
2. <storage> Writing multiple logical
copies of data
Placing the copies on totally separate paths to mirror
ed devices greatly reduces the probability of all copies being corrupt.
Multiplexing differs from mirroring in that mirroring takes one data file and copies it to many devices, thus making it possible to copy a corrupt file many times.
Multiplexing writes the data files to many places simultaneously; there is no "original" data file.