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Multiplexer Definition, Types, Uses


The multiplexer is a device that has multiple inputs and a single line output. The select lines determine which input is connected to the output, and also to increase the amount of data that can be sent over a network within a certain time. It is also called a data selector.


The single pole multi-position switch is a simple example of a non-electronic circuit of the multiplexer. Multiplexers are capable of handling both analog and digital applications.

In analog applications, multiplexers are made up of relays and transistor switches, whereas in digital applications, the multiplexers are built from standard logic gates. When the multiplexer is used for digital applications, it is called a digital

Multiplexer Types

Multiplexers are classified into four types:

  • 2-1 multiplexer (I select line)
  • 4-1 multiplexer (2 select lines)
  • .8-1 multiplexer (3 select lines)
  • 16-1 multiplexer (4 select lines)

Uses of Multiplexers

A Multiplexer is used in various applications wherein multiple data can be transmitted to using a single line. 

1. Communication System

A Multiplexer is used in communication systems, which has a transmission system and also a communication network. A Multiplexer has increased the efficiency of the communication system allowing the transmission of data, such as audio and video data from different channels via cables and single lines

2. Computer Memory 

A Multiplexer is used in computer memory to keep up a vast amount of memory in the computers, and also to decrease the number of copper lines necessary to connect the memory to other parts of the computer

3. Telephone Network

 A multiplexer is used in telephone networks to integrate the multiple audio signals on a single line of transmission.

4. Transmission from the Computer System of a Satellite

A Multiplexer is used to transmit the data signals from the computer system of a satellite to the ground system by using a GSM communication. 

Uses of Demultiplexer

Demultiplexers are used to connect a single source to multiple destinations. These applications include the following:

1. Communication System

Multiplexer and Demultiplexer both are used in communication systems to carry out the process of data transmission. A De-multiplèxer receives the output signals from the multiplexer; and, at the receiver end, it converts them back to the original form. 

2. Arithmetic Logic Unit

The output of the arithmetic the logic unit is fed as an input to the De-multiplexer, and the of the demultiplexer is connected to multiple registers. The output of the ALU can be stored in multiple registers. 

3. Serial to Parallel Converter

The serial to parallel the converter is used to reform parallel data. In this method, serial data are given as an input to the De-multiplexer at a regular interval and a counter is attached to the demultiplexer at the control i/p to sense the data signal at the demultiplexer's o/p When all data signals are stored, the output of the demultiplexer can be read out in parallel.

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