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A concentrator aggregates and forwards data packets within a system. A concentrator may also administrate various dial-up internet calls and function as a network router. In general, the term “concentrator” is used for either of these essential tasks.
Some IT professionals may use the term “network concentrator” to talk about a system that takes in buffered packets and puts them into a single queue. The concentrator may take packets from FIFO buffers and put them in a position for linear handling.
IT professionals may talk about a network concentrator as a “forwarder” or more generally point out this function within a network system that handles multiple streams or threads and combines them into a single point of service. Concentrators may also be part of troubleshooting efforts, where system administrators may check to see that the concentrator is taking in and outputting signals correctly.