Asynchronous Transfer Mode is a switching technology employed in telecommunications networks to transfer video, voice, and data at high speeds. While newer technologies have replaced it, ATM is still used in specific specialized areas such as high-speed trading in the finance sector and legal structures.

What ATM Uses for Data Transmission

ATM transmits data over the network using fixed-length frames known as ‘cells’. These cells are 53 bytes in size and include a 5-byte header (priority, destination address, and other control details) and a 48-byte payload (data being transferred).

How Does ATM Data Transmission Work?

ATM utilizes virtual circuits (logical connections facilitating effective bandwidth allocation) to control data flow across devices. It uses two types of virtual circuits: dynamically generated switched virtual circuits (SVCs) and permanent virtual circuits (PVCs).

After establishing a circuit, a path for data transmission is defined through the network. The ATM cells are conveyed separately over the virtual circuit in a process known as ‘cell switching.’ Every ATM switch checks the cell’s header and employs this information to route it to the relevant end-point.

Moreover, ATM utilizes a quality-of-service system to focus on various types of traffic, assigning additional bandwidth to high-priority data like video and voice streams.