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Project Resources

Here you'll find a compilation of resources related to the DeepMAC project including the broad topic of hardware addresses.

MAC Basics

MAC is short for Medium Access Control (sometimes Media Access Control) and was coined in the years after Xerox developed Ethernet technology (mid 1970's). It's part of the data link layer of an Ethernet connection, providing addressing and channel access with whatever hardware is in use. Without a MAC address, it is impossible for two devices to communicate with any Ethernet-based technology (just about everything in our modern world).

Early on (1986), IEEE (with Xerox's help) established a registry to reserve and hand out MAC address space to hardware manufacturers. In the early days of Ethernet (closely aligned with the early days of Internet development and growth) there were few such companies and an abundance of space available in the six bytes that make up an Ethernet MAC address. By 2017, a significant amount of that space has been consumed and continues to grow at rates beyond exponential.

To this day, the IEEE is still the sole and only agency on Earth with the authority to reserve MAC address space.


OUI refers to Organizationally Unique Identifier, the portion of a MAC address which indicates who it was reserved for. (This term has been replaced by IEE with a set of new terms to align with new products they offer for address registration, but is fundamentally the same)

Ethernet is the network toplogy technology developed by Xerox, and makes use of MAC addresses. However, it is not the only technology that does so. (Note: Ethernet is not the same as the Internet, nor TCP/IP)

Assignee is the organization an OUI is reserved for. This is never an individual, but rather some other entity. Usually a manufacturer but can also be government divisions or software vendors.

Hardware Address is generally interchangable with MAC address when referring to Ethernet technology.

Ethernet Address is generally interchangable with MAC address when referring to Ethernet technology.

IEEE Registration Authority

Information and resources directly relating to IEEE's MAC Address registry.

The IEEE Registry

IEEE RAC OUI Restructuring (RFC)

Ethernet Codes

As Internet growth begain to explode in the 1990's, there was a need for technicians to understand what different parts of a MAC address meant (which for certain network technologies could be different than others), and how to deal with this "new thing" in existing networks. The link below is a famous archive of information that still has remarkable relevance to some today.

Cavebear Ethernet Codes


Don't seem to be any here yet. Why not go ask one?