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Asynchronous Transfer ModeATM is a high-speed transmission protocol in which data blocks are broken into small cells that are transmitted individually and possibly via different routes in a manner similar to packet-switching technology In other words it is a form of data transmission that allows voice video and data to be sent along the same network In the past voice video and data were transferred using separate networks voice traffic over the phone video over cable networks and data over an internetwork ATM is a cell- switching and multiplexing technology designed to be a fast general purpose transfer mode for multiple services It is asynchronous because cells are not transferred periodically Cells are given time slots on demand What seperates ATMs is its capability to support multimedia and integrate these services along with data over a signal type of transmission method The ATM cell is the data unit used to transmit the data The data is broken into 48-byte data packets for transmission Five bytes of control data are appended to the 48-byte data packets forming a 53-byte transmission frame These frames are then transmitted to the recipient where the 5-byte control data or Header is removed and the message is put back together for use by the system In an ATM network all data is switched and multiplexed in these cells Each ATM cell sent into the network contains addressing information that achieves a virtual connection from origination to destination All cells are then transferred in sequence over this virtual connectionThe header includes information about the contents of the payload and about the method of transmission The header contains only 5 octets It was shortened as much as possible containing the minimum address and control functions for a working system The sections in the header are a series of bits which are recognized and processed by the ATM layer Sections included in the header are Generic Flow Control GFC Cell Loss Priority CLP Payload
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