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Finding the right ATM switch for the market

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3 Author(s)
Rooholamini, R. ; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN, USA ; Cherkassky, V. ; Garver, M.

The asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) promises to be the ultimate on-premise internetworking technology. Its high-bandwidth uniform switches can transfer graphics, audio, video. and text from application to application at much higher speeds than now available. In fact, ATM may well be the technology that brings the computer and communications industries together. Because ATM as a public service offering by telecommunications companies will probably not be in place before 1996-1997, the authors focus on the ATM LAN and the corporate backbone. Most of the proposals on the internal architecture of the ATM switch are still at a research-and-evaluation stage, based on the switching architectures of the 1970s and 198Os. Various objectives, such as blocking, routing, performance and VLSI implementation, motivated past work. Although these attributes are essential, they don't address concerns important to the commercial ATM market, such as the general cost of ownership and incremental deployment, scalability, reliability, and efficient bandwidth utilization. The few ATM switches on the market today embody attributes that meet current demands but must evolve to meet the future. The authors assess the architectural characteristics deemed necessary for the ATM switch, providing an overview of its purpose and protocols, and summarize key ATM switch proposals. They summarize commercial market requirements and profile several commercially available systems to show the current gap between the research community and the commercial market, providing a model for the future.<>

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

April 1994

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