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A transceiver (TRX) is a device which can transmit and receive signals. Usually, a transceiver contains both a transmitter and a receiver, both of which share common circuitry. However, if the transmitter and receiver only share a common housing and nothing else, the device is called a transmitter-receiver. Transceivers are extremely important in the history of technology, as they have paved the way for many inventions such as two-way radios, mobile phones and the internet.
There are two main types of radio transceivers: full duplex and half duplex. In a half-duplex transceiver, when a radio transceiver is transmitting the message, the receiver portion is disabled. As both the parts share the same components, including the same antenna, the parts cannot transmit and receive signals at the same time. Thus, receiving cannot be done while transmitting, even though sometimes both operations may take place at the same frequency. An example of use of such a system is two-way radios, also known as walkie-talkies, which use “push to talk” functions.
In full-duplex transceivers, the transceiver can receive signals during transmissions. However, in such transceivers, the transmitter and receiver work at completely different frequencies. This disallows any kind of signal interference to occur. Many modern devices, including mobile phones and devices using satellite communication, use this technology.