duplex

In telecommunication, duplex communication means that both ends of the communication can send and receive signals at the same time.

In telecommunication, duplex communication means that both ends of the communication can send and receive signals at the same time. Full-duplex communication is the same thing. Half-duplex is also bidirectional communication but signals can only flow in one direction at a time. Simplex communication means that communication can only flow in one direction and never flow back the other way.

An ordinary telephone conversation is a duplex communication. Most inexpensive speakerphones in conference rooms are half-duplex communication. (If you're speaking, you can't hear anyone else interrupt. You have to pause to let others speak.)

This was first published in April 2007

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