physical layer

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Also found in: Acronyms.

physical layer

(networking)
Layer one, the lowest layer in the OSI seven layer model. The physical layer encompasses details such as electrical and mechanical connections to the network, transmission of binary data as changing voltage levels on wires or similar concepts on other connectors, and data rates.

The physical layer is used by the data link layer.

Example physical layer protocols are CSMA/CD, token ring and bus.

physical layer

The services in the OSI protocol stack (layer 1) that provide the transmission of bits over the network medium. Also known as the "PHY" layer. See OSI model and physical layer switch.
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