What is a Network Interface Card (NIC)?

Computer NetworkNetworkOperating System

NIC represents Network Interface Cards. A PC development board connects to a PC or server and operates with the network control framework to force the network’s data flow. Some of the network documentations call NIC as network board. In this manner, all NICs are connected in a network.

A NIC is a collection of hardware that includes chips and traces, and it translates the electric pulses into light, infrared, radio or other more robust pulses. The NIC is also known as network adapters, and while associating them in a network, their set up and configuring is essential for the appropriate setting up of NIC. There is one required to move through three stages called.

  • Setting
  • Configuration
  • Interfacing


A set of specific parameters like IRQ (Interrupt Request), I/O address, DMA, shared memory address, etc., setting is done according to the network’s need. A proper combination of them is needed before connecting the network card. IRQs are interrupted request lines that give a signal from a machine to the processor. As the number of devices increases in a system, the IRQ conflict also increase, and this is why its setting is a must. Each device in the PC must have a unique IRQ number. For example, 0 is used for the timer, 1 for the keyword, 2 for Cascade, 3 for com 2, 4 for com 1, 5 for hard disk, 6 for floppy disk, 7 for LPTI, 8 for the clock, 9 for PC network etc.


The configuring involves both hardware configuring as well as software configuration. The hardware configuration needs the configuring of jumpers and DIP switches. Small plastic covers are generally used to put on these metal pins for changing their configuration. DIP is dual inline package are switched. They are a small bank of switches on the network interfacing card.


When the setting of frameworks and configuring of the card is completed, it is prepared for linking. After the proper network, you require to establish the driver for it. The standard drivers used for network adapter cards are Network device Interface Specification (NDIS) and Open Datalink Interface (ODI).

Updated on 04-May-2021 14:32:47