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Asynchronous Transfer Mode is a newer technology which moves information from switch-to-switch using uniform length packets (cells). Because the cells are of equal length, they can be switched quickly using hardware logic instead of software. This faster switching capability allows ATM to carry significantly larger amounts of information in higher bandwidth chunks. This also means that ATM can carry lots of different types of information including voice, video, or data. ATM standards continue to evolve for carrying specific types of information, but its basic protocol structure is very simple to understand and as such, ATM is receiving widespread support. In fact, at its core, ATM can serve LANs, WANs, voice, data, image, and video needs with great dexterity. The more bandwidth you need, the more economical it becomes, but you may need to have loads of bandwidth to start just to be in the ATM game. Click here to see a representation of the ATM cell structure.

ATM Protocol Structure

1997 by STM&P, Inc.