Asynchronous transfer mode or ATM is a cell based switching technique which has brought an evolution in the communication systems of today and are related to networking. This includes a lot of great features and can run on both LAN and WAN connections.
Most of us are familiar with the word ATM but we hardly know anything about its functionality or how it works. We hardly even know what this abbreviation stands for. Well ATM particularly stands for asynchronous transfer mode and can be defined as a typically cell based switching technique which specifically makes the use of asynchronous time division multiplexing that enables encoding of specific data into definite sized cells or cell relay and provides particular data link layer services which specifically run on OSI Layer 1 physical links. Well most often people confuse it with packet switched networks like the Internet Protocol or Ethernet where different sized small packets are used for data transfer.
ATM or asynchronous transfer mode typically possesses properties of both types of networking, meaning it can be used in both circuit switched as well as packet switched networking which may act as the best means of a wide range of data transfer. It is also very suitable for real time media transport. The model which is particularly used in this particular mode of data transfer is mainly connection oriented, thus easily joins the two end points with virtual circuit even before the data starts transferring.
Asynchronous transfer mode-technology can easily be used for both LAN and WAN connections. ATM also has some other distinctive features which are discussed in brief and as follows:
- It has the potential of providing a data transfer speed of up to 2.5 GBps which easily helps to enable high bandwidth distributed applications. This is mainly useful for video-on-demand techniques or video conferencing which are typically based on new distributed applications. It also helps to get access to remote databases including multimedia data.
- It easily provides high transmissions seeds for both LAN and WAN connections by simply enabling distributed applications of high power which previously could only be used in LAN connection but failed to work on WAN networks.
- It uses the basic techniques to switch between single integrated switching mechanisms. Thus, it is specifically suitable for those distributed applications which typically generate constant bit rate traffic or CBR traffic and also useful for variable bit rate or VBR.
- As far as traffic is concerned asynchronous transfer mode specifically uses virtual network for driving traffic within different locations. Besides point to point communications, it is also useful where a single sender and multiple receiver services are concerned due to its multicasting facility.
Asynchronous transfer mode is a relatively modern concept in the field of communication technology and it is evolving every day to provide new means to improve modern day networking.