Media Access Unit

Media Access Unit

A Media Access Unit (MAU, also called Multistation Access Unit, MSAU) is a device to attach multiple network stations in a star topology in a Token ring network, internally wired to connect the stations into a logical ring. The MAU contains relays to short out nonoperating stations. Multiple MAUs can be connected into a larger ring through their Ring In/Ring Out connectors.

MAU's are also called the "Ring in a Box". The loop that used to make up the ring of the Token ring is now integrated into the chip. In Token ring, when a link is broken in the ring, the entire network goes down; however with an MAU, the broken circuit is immediately closed off (within 1ms) allowing stations on the ring to have their cords unplugged without crashing the entire network.

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