Each bit is represented by a physical signal, either electric or optic. Because it is a physical signal, it resides on layer 1 (Physical layer) of the OSI model.
In the seven-layer OSI model of computer networking, the physical layer or layer 1 is the first and lowest layer: the layer most closely associated with the physical connection between devices. The physical layer provides an electrical, mechanical, and procedural interface to the transmission medium. The shapes and properties of the electrical connectors, the frequencies to broadcast on, the line code to use and similar low-level parameters, are specified by the physical layer.
At the electrical layer, the physical layer is commonly implemented by dedicated PHY chip or, in electronic design automation (EDA), by a design block. In mobile computing, the MIPI Alliance *-PHY family of interconnect protocols are widely used.
Historically, the OSI model is closely associated with internetworking, such as the Internet protocol suite and Ethernet, which were developed in the same era, along similar lines, though with somewhat different abstractions. Beyond internetworking, the OSI abstraction can be brought to bear on all forms of device interconnection in data communications and computational electronics.