Asynchronous Transfer - Networking Technology

by Dinesh 2012-08-29 06:54:24

Asynchronous Transfer Mode - Networking Technology


Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is the name given to a connection-oriented networking technology that is intended for use in both local area and wide area networks. ATM is designed to permit extremely high speed data switching; the fastest ATM hardware can switch data at gigabit speeds?. Of course, such high speeds require complex, state-of-the-art hardware. As a result, ATM networks are more expensive than other technologies.

To achieve high transfer speeds, an ATM network uses special-purpose hardware and software techniques. First, an ATM network consists of one or more high-speed switches that each connect to computers and to other ATM switches. Second, ATM uses optical fibers for connections, including connections from a user's computer to an ATM switch. Optical fibers provide a higher transfer rate than copper wires; typically, the connection between a user's computer and an ATM switch operates at 155 Mbps. Third, the lowest layers of an ATM network use fixed-size frames called cells. Because each cell is exactly the same size, ATM switch hardware can process cells quickly.
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