Suppose I have 2 switches; one CSMA/CA (gigabit) and the other CSMA/CD (gigabit), would they work together when connected and if so would there be any dip in network performance?

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Switches don't do CA - that's a wireless thing. And gigabit doesn't do CD as it's full duplex by design.
    – Ricky
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 3:05

2 Answers 2


CSMA/CA is used on Wi-Fi, a shared wireless medium, while CSMA/CD is used on wired ethernet.

The closest you come to mixing them would be a WAP (Wireless Access Point) that translates and bridges between Wi-Fi and ethernet. The WAP will use CSMA/CD on the ethernet interface, and CSMA/CA on the radio.

  • Switches usually use full-duplex links that can't experience collisions.
  • Gigabit Ethernet only theoretically supports half-duplex transmission (using CSMA/CD) but you won't find hardware for that.
  • In a given collision domain, only one scheme can be used. Multiple collision domains using the same or different access schemes can be bridged however.

In theory,

  • CSMA/CA could also work on wired networks.
  • If a switch supported CSMA/CD and CSMA/CA alternatively on its ports (and it was clear what to use) it could switch between multiple collision domains using different collision schemes.

A switch forwards frames based on their destination MAC addresses, on layer 2. CSMA/CD/CA are access schemes for the physical layer (L1) - they have little to no impact on L2.

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