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Comparative Study of ATM Switching Fabrics

Yan, Wei

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is often described as the future computer networking paradigm that makes Broadband Integrated Service Digital Network (BISDN) possible. This new network will have a huge data rate compared to all existing networks and services, and will make it possible to offer a large variety of new services such as video, live television, full motion multimedia electronic mail, and compact disk quality music. When a frame is transnlitted in the ATM network, it will be segmented into ATM cells and then routed through ATM switches. The switching fabric is important in reducing the possibility of blocking or increasing the throughput. The thesis work is a comparative study of different ATM switching fabrics, including Starhte, Moonshine, Sunshine Switching, and other currently posted research works. The thesis also analyzes the performances of certain ATM switching fabrics under different traffics and internal and external interconnecting structures. Through the comparative study, we can see that in order to determine a suitable ATM switching fabric, we must consider the following aspects: scalability, congestion free, efficient use of bandwidth, reliability, traffic pattern and buffer management.