ARCHIVED: What is Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)?
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a transfer protocol with the following characteristics:
- It is scalable and flexible. It can support megabit-to-gigabit
transfer speeds and is not tied to a specific physical medium.
- It efficiently transmits video, audio, and data through the
implementation of several adaptation layers.
- Bandwidth can be allocated as needed, lessening
the impact on and by high-bandwidth users.
- It transmits data in fixed-length packets, called cells, each of
which is 53 bytes long, containing 48 bytes of payload and
5 bytes of header.
- It is asynchronous in the sense that although cells are relayed
synchronously, particular users need not send data at regular
- It is connection oriented, using a virtual circuit to transmit cells that share the same source and destination over the same route.
For more information, visit the IP/MPLS Forum site, a non-profit organization of ATM developers.
Note: ATM is also an acronym for "Adobe Type Manager".
Last modified on April 28, 2009.