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Simple Definitions

The most important electronics terms, demystified in one place.


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Data can go back and forth in this type of communication, but only one way at a time. It is similar to a walkie-talkie, where you press a button to talk and release it to listen, but you can’t do both at the same time.


A half-duplex (HDX) system provides communication in both directions, but only one direction at a time, not simultaneously in both directions. This terminology is not completely standardized between defining organizations, and in radio communication, some sources classify this mode as simplex. Typically, once one party begins a transmission, the other party on the channel must wait for the transmission to complete, before replying.

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