Time division multiplexing (FDM) is a technique of multiplexing, where the users are allowed the total available bandwidth on time sharing basis. Here the time domain is divided into several recurrent slots of fixed length, and each signal is allotted a time slot on a round-robin basis.
In TDM, the data flow of each input stream is divided into units. One unit may be 1 bit, 1 byte, or a block of few bytes. Each input unit is allotted an input time slot. One input unit corresponds to one output unit and is allotted an output time slot. During transmission, one unit of each of the input streams is allotted one-time slot, periodically, in a sequence, on a rotational basis. This system is popularly called round-robin system.
Consider a system having four input streams, A, B, C and D. Each of the data streams is divided into units which are allocated time slots in the round – robin manner. Hence, the time slot 1 is allotted to A, slot 2 is allotted to B, slot 3 is allotted to C, slot 4 is allotted to D, slot 5 is allocated to A again, and this goes on till the data in all the streams are transmitted.
It is widely used in telephone and cellular networks.
In STDM, the time slots are dynamically allocated to the slots according to demand. The multiplexer checks each input stream in a round – robin manner and allocates a slot to an input line only if data is present there, otherwise, it skips to the next stream and checks it.