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Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

ATM Net = Data Net + Phone Net Combination of the Internet method of communication (Packet Switching) and phone companies method (Circuit Switching)
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ATM vs Phone Network

Current Phone Networks are Synchronous (Periodic) ATM = Asynchronous Transfer Mode Phone networks use circuit switching, whereas ATM networks use Packet Switching In Phone network, all rates are multiple of 8 kbps. With ATM service, you can get any rate. You can vary your rate with time With current phone network, all high speed circuits are manually setup. ATM allows dialing at any speed.
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ATM vs Data Network

IP is connectionless and you cant reserve bandwidth in advance whereas ATM is connection-oriented and you need to declare your needs before start using the network Each packet is addressed and processed individually in traditional IP network (Circuit Number in ATM) Traffic Management: Loss based in IP. ATM has 1996 traffic management technology, which is required for highspeed and variable demands Fixed/Small size of cells in ATM is not so important


Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

Technology providing support to Broadband ISDN Technology enabling high-speed backbone LAN Transmission in small, fixed-size packets called cells Cell consists of a 5-byte header and 48 bytes of data Cell switching superior to circuit switching:
capable of both constant-rate and variable-rate traffic high-speed digital switching of cells easier than multiplexing, especially when using fibre-optic cables capable of broadcast, essential for television distribution


B-ISDN ATM Reference Model

LAYER Upper layers ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) ATM layer Physical layer SUB-LAYER
Control functions User functions Convergence (CS) SAR none

Connection management Transport, Flow & error control Providing standard interface Segmentation and reassembly Flow rate control, Header generation/extraction, Virtual circuit/path management, Cell multiplexing/demultiplexing Cell rate decoupling, Header checksum generation & verification, Cell generation, Packing/unpacking cells, Frame generation Bit timing, Physical network access

Transmission Convergence (TC) Physical Medium Dependent (PMD)


The Physical Layer of ATM

Cells from different sources arrive in random order Gaps between data cells filled with idle cells Primary transmission rate is 155.5 Mbps, with provision for an additional rate of 622 Mbps All links are point-to-point, either between a computer and a switch or between two switches Transmission medium is normally optical fibre, but cat5 cable is acceptable for distances up to 100 m. PMD sublayer supplies/receives a bit stream to/from the TC sublayer, which does the job of cell framing


ATM Switches
All cells are switched with the lowest possible loss Cells are never reordered in a virtual circuit, i.e. cells arriving on a virtual circuit in a certain order must always leave the switch in the same order If cells directed to the same output port arrive at the same time at different input ports, they have to be queued, either before the input or after the output Input queueing leads to the Head-of-the-line blocking, which means that a blocked cell blocks up all cells behind it in order, even if their path is clear


ATM Switches (continued)

Output queueing does not exhibit this effect, but the queue size is restricted by the size of the output buffer, and cells directed to a particular output may have to be discarded when that output buffer is full A Knockout switch uses a concentrator to select the cells to be queued in a fair manner The number of cross-points in a Knockout switch is proportional to the square of the number of lines A Banyan switch uses 2-input 2-output switching elements in a matrix with log2n columns and n/2 rows for switching n input lines to n output lines.
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The Batcher-Banyan Switch

A Banyan switch suffers from a loss of cells when two cells, though directed to different output ports, have to use the same switching element. The Batcher-Banyan switch avoids this loss by placing a a Banyan switch in tandem with a Batcher switch, which shuffles the cells so as to ensure that they go through the Banyan switch without collision However, a Batcher-Banyan switch will have to discard cells if they are directed to the same output port and the output buffer is exhausted
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The Data Link Layer in ATM

Header consists of 4 bytes of virtual circuit and control information followed by a 1-byte checksum The checksum is generated from the 4 header bytes by applying CRC technique As it covers only the header, the checksum byte is called the HEC (Header Error Control) HEC corrects all single-bit errors and detects many multi-bit errors - good enough for fibre networks OAM (Operation And Maintenance) cells are used by switches to exchange control and other Info.
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The Data Link Layer in ATM (continued)

The transmitters TC layer takes a sequence of cells from the ATM layer, adds an HEC to every cell, and inserts OAM cells, as necessary, to match the ATM output bit rate to the speed of the underlying transmission system, e.g. SONET The receivers TC layer eliminates the idle cells, and passes on the OAM cells, distinguished by having all-zero bytes for the first three header bytes, to the ATM layer, which uses the information contained in the fourth byte of the OAM cell
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The Data Link Layer in ATM (continued)

As ATM uses no framing, the receivers TC layer has to recognise the cell boundaries by continuously checking whether the rightmost 8 bits of the 40-bit data held in its input shift register matches with the computed HEC of the remaining 32 bits This process is not fool-proof in view of the small length of the HEC, and hence a finite state machine with three states: HUNT, PRESYNCH and SYNCH is used to repeat the check for several sequences once a potential header has been identified
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The Network Layer in ATM

The ATM layer in ATM is not designed as a true network layer, but has features of data link layer also The ATM layer is connection-oriented, but provides no acknowledgements. Its basic element is a Virtual Channel, which can be either simplex or duplex The ATM layer guarantees that cells sent along a virtual channel will always arrive in order Two interfaces are used by the ATM layer: UNI (User-Network Interface) and NNI (Network-Network Interface), having slightly different headers
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The Network Layer in ATM (continued)

The header for NNI, which applies to lines between two ATM switches, consists of the following fields:
VPI (Virtual Path Identifier) is a 12-bit integer selecting the virtual path connecting the two switches VCI (Virtual Circuit Identifier) is a 16-bit integer selecting a particular virtual circuit within the chosen virtual path PTI (Payload Type Identifier) is a 3-bit number giving the payload type (Data/OAM) of the cell CLP (Cell Loss Priority) bit fixes the priority of the cell

The header for UNI differs only in having an 8-bit VPI and a 4-bit GFC (General Flow Control) field
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The ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL)

The upper part of the AAL - the convergence sublayer (CS) provides the interface to the application, through an AAL-specific sub-part common to all applications, and another application-specific sub-part The Segmentation And Reassembly (SAR) sublayer at the transmitting end adds headers and trailers to the data given to it by the CS to form cell payloads, which are then given to the ATM layer for transmission. At the receiving end, SAR reassembles the cells into messages and passes them to CS.
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AAL (continued)
Protocol development for AAL has gone through several iterations under the control of ITU, starting from AAL1 to AAL4, all of which have unfortunately been complicated and inefficient AAL5 evolved from the protocol originally called SEAL (Simple Efficient Adaptation Layer), developed by some designers. AAL5 has functional similarities with UDP, which makes AAL5 look like a transport layer protocol, though AAL was never visualised by ITU as a transport layer.
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Service Categories



Service Categories for ATM Connections

Constant Bit Rate (CBR) (Guaranteed/not overbooked)
e.g. Traditional real-time voice and video

Variable Bit Rate - Real Time (VBR-RT)

e.g. Packetised voice and video ( VBR is Statistical Guaranteed) e.g. Computer to Computer communication e.g. General Internet offerings

Variable Bit Rate - Non Real Time (VBR-NRT) Unspecified Bit Rate (UBR) (Standby coming to Airport) Available Bit Rate (ABR) (Standby at Home)
e.g. Very bursty traffic requiring low loss e.g. Guarantees a Frame Rate

Guaranteed Frame Rate (GFR)