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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Data Terminal Equipment
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communications, hardware (DTE) A device which acts as the
source and/or destination of data and which controls the
communication channel. DTE includes terminals, computers,
DTE is usually connected via an EIA-232 serial line to
Data Communication Equipment (DCE), typically a modem. It
is necessary to distinguish these two types of device because
their connectors must be wired differently if a
"straight-through" cable (pin 1 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 2 etc.)
is to be used. DTE should have a male connector and should
transmit on pin three and receive on pin two. It is a curious
fact that many modems are actually "DTE" according to the
original standard.