How Do You Explain The Term ATM In Networking?


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The ATM stands for asynchronous transfer mode. It is actually the protocol that works at the data link layer of OSI reference model.It is considered to be the combination of circuit switching and packet switching in the sense that it uses transfer the data in the form of small packets through a virtual circuit between the sending and receiving ends in the network. It is better than the network based on the packet switching because it encloses the data in the fixed length pieces that are called cells, so that ATM is a form of cell switching. The smaller size of ATM cells allows the high speed of data transfer that is not possible in older packet switching networking. The speed of ATM becomes apparent in the case of voice or video data transfer.

Before the data transfer, a virtual path is established between endpoint. This virtual path is a group of virtual channels that carry the ATM cells with the same virtual path identifier.
All the ATM cells are of the size of 53 bytes, where 48 bytes contains the actual data that is to be transferred and 5 bytes contain the cell header information.

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