Asynchronous transfer mode, or ATM, is a type of transmission mode in which data packets are transmitted between nodes on the network at different intervals. The size of these packets varies by application but they are generally 53 bytes long and contain only control information to allow the network nodes to work together. These differences distinguish it from synchronous transmissions where an entire byte can be sent as soon as it’s received.
The many small cells of the ATM equipment allow it to transmit large amounts of data over a single connection while still ensuring that no transmission takes up all the bandwidth. This also allows ISPs to assign limited bandwidth to each customer, enhancing their efficiency and making sure everyone has an overall faster Internet connection.
ATM’s Benefits and Usages
ATM has a number of benefits over other types of transmissions, such as the fact that it is error correcting. This means that if one byte in 53 bytes was lost during transmission, then the receiver could detect this and ask for a resend or reconstruct its contents from what was received correctly.
ATM protocol is used in networks that are shared by voice, video and data. The network is set up to prioritize bandwidth for the traffic types in order of their sensitivity to delay (voice has a higher priority than data). This means that when more capacity becomes available on the link, it can be given to those services with high-priority needs.
ATM is still used today for implementing private networks in enterprises.