What Does Demultiplex 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

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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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…