Definition

channel

In information technology, the term channel is used in a number of ways.

1) In telecommunications in general, a channel is a separate path through which signals can flow.

2) In the public switched telephone network (PSTN), a channel is one of multiple transmission paths within a single link between network points. For example, the commonly used (in North America) T-carrier system line service provides 24 64 Kbps channels for digital data transmission.

3) In radio and television, a channel is a separate incoming signal or program source that a user can select.

4) In optical fiber transmission using dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM), a channel is a separate wavelength of light within a combined, multiplexed light stream.

5) On the World Wide Web, a channel is a preselected Web site that can automatically send updated information for immediate display or viewing on request. See push technology.

6) In computer and Internet marketing, a channel is a "middleman" between a product creator and the marketplace. Value-added resellers (VAR) and retail store chains are examples of channels in this context.

7) Using Internet Relay Chat, a channel is a specific chat group.

8) In IBM mainframe systems, a channel is a high bandwidth connection between a processor and other processors, workstations, printers, and storage devices within a relatively close proximity. It's also called a local connection as opposed to a remote (or telecommunication) connection.

9) In a field-effect transistor (FET), a channel is the semiconductor path on which current flows.

Related terms include: clear channel, channel extender, Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over IP, channel associated signaling, and channel bank.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchDataCenter.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: