IPv4 address length technical design

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 19:31:48 UTC 2012


On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM, Izaac <izaac at setec.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 03, 2012 at 06:52:57PM +0200, Seth Mos wrote:
>> "Pick a number between this and that." It's the 80's and you can
>> still count the computers in the world. :)
>
> And yet, almost concurrently, IEEE 802 went with forty-eight bits.  Go
> figure.  I'm pretty sure the explanation you're looking for is: It was
> with the word size of the most popular minis and micros at the time.

The 48 bit MAC was 1980; notable that it was not primarily handled in
software / CPUs (ethernet key functionality is in dedicated interface
hardware, though the stack is MAC-aware obviously).  CPU register bit
length is less critical when you have a dedicated controller of
arbitrary bittedness handling MACs.


-- 
-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com



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