(MAC) address burned into each and every Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC). The MAC, or hardware address, is a 48-bit (6-byte) address written in a hexadecimal format. Fig. 4 shows the 48-bit MAC addresses and how the bits are divided.
The organizationally unique identifier (OUI) is assigned by the IEEE to an organization. It’s composed of 24 bits, or 3 bytes. The organization, in turn, assigns a globally administered address (24 bits, or 3 bytes) that is unique to each and every adapter they manufacture. Look at the figure and you will see that the high-order bit is the Individual/Group (I/G) bit. When it has a value of 0, we can assume that the address is the MAC address of a device and may well appear in the source portion of the MAC header. When it is a 1, we can assume that the address represents either a broadcast or multicast address in Ethernet, or a broadcast or functional address in TR and FDDI. The next bit is the G/L bit (also known as U/L, where U means universal). When set to 0, this bit represents a globally administered address (as by the IEEE). When the bit is a 1, it represents a locally governed and administered address (as in DECnet). The low-order 24 bits of an Ethernet address represent a locally administered or manufacturer-assigned code. This portion commonly starts with 24 0s for the first card made and continues in order until there are 24 1s for the last (16,777,216th) card made.