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Demultiplex (DEMUX)

Definition - What does Demultiplex (DEMUX) mean?

Demultiplex (DEMUX) is the reverse of the multiplex (MUX) process – combining multiple unrelated analog or digital signal streams into one signal over a single shared medium, such as a single conductor of copper wire or fiber optic cable. Thus, demultiplex is reconverting a signal containing multiple analog or digital signal streams back into the original separate and unrelated signals.

Techopedia explains Demultiplex (DEMUX)

Although demultiplex is the reverse of the multiplex process, because the multiple signals are not related, it is not the opposite of multiplexing.

The opposite of multiplexing is inverse multiplexing (IMUX), which breaks one data stream into several related data streams. Thus, the difference between demultiplexing and inverse multiplexing is that the output streams of demultiplexing are unrelated; but the output streams of inverse multiplexing are related.

A related term is channel bank, the foundation of all digital telecommunication transmissions. It is part of a carrier-multiplex terminal serving two functions:

  1. multiplexing a group of (unrelated) channels into a higher bit-rate (transmission speed) channel
  2. demultiplexing these (unrelated) aggregates back into individual channels


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