CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
asynchronous transfer mode
This packet-switching protocol, once considered promising for local-area networking, has instead become the standard for telecom carrier networks. For transmitting and receiving data, ATM uses uniform 53-byte cells. (Each cell has a 5-byte address header and 48 bytes of data.) These short, standardized cells can be processed through a digital ATM switch very quickly, allowing for data transmission speeds surpassing 600Mbps. ATM was designed to support multiple services, including voice, graphics, data, and full-motion video. It also allows telephone and cable TV companies to dynamically assign bandwidth to individual customers.
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