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ATM PROTOCOL STRUCTURE
Figure 33 shows the ATM layered architecture as described in ITU-T recommendation I.321 (1992). This is the basis on which the B-ISDN Protocol Reference Model has been defined.
Figure 33: ATM Protocol Architecture
ATM Physical Layer The physical layer accepts or delivers payload cells at its point of access to the ATM layer. It provides for cell delineation which enables the receiver to recover cell boundaries. It generates and verifies the HEC field. If the HEC cannot be verified or corrected, then the physical layer will discard the errored cell. Idle cells are inserted in the transmit direction and removed in the receiving direction. For the physical transmission of bits, 5 types of transmission frame adaptations are specified (by the ITU and the ATM Forum). Each one of them has its own lower bound or upper bound for the amount of bits it can carry (from 12.5 Mbps to 10 Gbps so far). 1. Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) 2. Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH) 155 Mbps; 34 Mbps;
3. Cell Based 155 Mbps; 4. Fibre Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) = 100 Mbps;
Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) 51 Mbps. This layer accepts or delivers cell payloads. Depending on the direction. y ATM Layer ATM layer mainly performs switching.5. At a VC switch new values of VPI and VCI are obtained whereas at a VP switch only new values for the VPI field are obtained (see Figure 34). 3. Figure 34: VC/VP Switching in ATM y ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) 2 . 1. either the individual VPs and VCs are multiplexed into a single cell or the single cell is demultiplexed to get the individual VPs and VCs. Four functions of this layer have been identified. 2. The characteristic features of the ATM layer are independent of the physical medium.5 to 51 Mbps). routing and multiplexing. It adds appropriate ATM cell headers when transmitting and removes cell headers in the receiving direction so that only the cell information field is delivered to the ATM Adaptation Layer. The actual physical link could be either optical or coaxial with the possibility of Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP Category 3/5) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP Category 5) in the mid range (12. At the ATM switching/cross connect nodes VPI and VCI translation occurs. cell multiplexing (in the transmit direction) cell demultiplexing (at the receiving end) VPI/VCI translation cell header generation/extraction. 4.
AAL1 and AAL2 which support connection oriented services are important. 2. It changes these protocol data structures into ATM cell payloads when receiving and does the reverse when transmitting. AAL4 which supports a connection less service was originally meant for data which is sensitive to loss but not to delay. y VBR Service 3 . Another usage is for the transport of fixed rate video.Adaptation for Constant Bit Rate (CBR) services (connection oriented. 3. 44 byte payload).Adaptation for Variable Bit Rate (VBR) services (connection oriented. the introduction of AAL5 which uses a 48 byte payload with no overheads has made AAL3/4 redundant. AAL3 . 5. 44 byte payload). Its basic function is the enhanced adaptation of services provided by the ATM layer to the requirements of the higher layers. AAL5 . ATM SERVICES y CBR Service This supports the transfer of information between the source and destination at a constant bit rate. AAL4 . 4. However.Adaptation for signaling and data services (48 byte payload). This is done in accordance with five AAL service classes defined as follows. In the case of transfer of information in real time. 1.The ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) is between ATM layer and the higher layers. AAL1 . A typical example is the transfer of voice at 64 Kbps over ATM.Adaptation for Variable Bit Rate data services (connection oriented. Frame Relay and MPEG -2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group) video are two services which will specifically use AAL5.Adaptation for Variable Bit Rate data services (connection less. AAL2 . 47 byte payload). 45 byte payload). CBR service uses AAL1. This layer accepts and delivers data streams that are structured for use with user's own communication protocol. It inserts timing information required by users into cell payloads or extracts from them. This type of service over an ATM network is sometimes called circuit emulation (similar to a voice circuit on a telephone network).
etc. This makes the bandwidth of the ABR service to be variable. Typical examples are variable bit rate audio and video. and it encodes data into small.This service is useful for sources with variable bit rates. This differs from networks such as the Internet or Ethernet LANs that use variable 4 . IP over ATM The transmission of classical IP traffic over ATM can be accomplished as shown in figure 35. y ABR and UBR Services The definition of CBR and VBR has resulted in two other service types called Available Bit Rate (ABR) services and Unspecified Bit Rate (UBR) services.2. as the name implies. Figure 35: Transmission of IP over ATM 2. the integrity of data is guaranteed. monitoring. ABR services use the instantaneous bandwidth available after allocating bandwidths for CBR and VBR services. This is ideal to carry time insensitive (but loss sensitive) data such as in LAN-LAN interconnect and IP over ATM. TRANSMISSION OF ATM CELLS: Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a switching technique for telecommunication networks. Although there is no guaranteed time of delivery for the data transported using ABR services. fixed-sized cells. has an unspecified bit rate which the network can use to transport information relating to network management. It uses asynchronous time-division  multiplexing. UBR service.
ATM defines two different cell formats: NNI (Network-Network Interface) and UNI (User-Network Interface). Most ATM links use UNI cell format. and real-time. low-latency content such as voice and video. ATM has functional similarity with both circuit switched networking and small packet switched networking.sized packets or frames. Structure of an ATM cell An ATM cell consists of a 5-byte header and a 48-byte payload.g. ATM uses aconnection-oriented model in which a virtual circuit must be established between two endpoints before the actual data exchange begins. The payload size of 48 bytes was chosen as described above ("Why cell?"). This makes it a good choice for a network that must handle both traditional highspeed data traffic (e. Diagram of the UNI ATM Cell 7 GFC VPI VCI VCI PT CL P VCI 4 3 VPI VCI VPI VCI PT CL P 0 Diagram of the NNI ATM Cell 7 4 VPI VCI 3 0 HEC HEC Payload and padding if necessary (48 bytes) 5 Payload and padding if necessary (48 bytes) . file transfers).ATM is a core protocol used over the SONET/SDH backbone of the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). ATM provides data link layer services that run over OSI Layer 1 physical links..
the current and subsequent cells are dropped until a cell with no header errors is found. in the same way that two ISDN phones can share a single basic rate ISDN connection. When multi-bit header errors are detected. it must 6 . ATM ADAPTATION LAYER: AAL: ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL0. When relaying information received from the ATM Layer. When relaying information received from the higher layers. polynomial = X8 + X2 + X + 1) ATM uses the PT field to designate various special kinds of cells for operations. and maintenance (OAM) purposes. 2. A UNI cell reserves the GFC field for a local flow control/submultiplexing system between users. The NNI cell format replicates the UNI format almost exactly. which allows locating the ATM cells with no overhead required beyond what is otherwise needed for header protection. AAL3/4. Several of ATM's link protocols use the HEC field to drive a CRC-Based Framing algorithm. administration. Thus. and AAL5) The ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) relays ATM cells between ATM Layer and higher layer. except that the 4-bit GFC field is re-allocated to the VPI field. The 8-bit CRC is used to correct single-bit header errors and detect multi-bit header errors. and to delineate packet boundaries in some AALs. This was intended to allow several terminals to share a single network connection. extending the VPI to 12 bits. AAL2. it segments the data into ATM cells.3.GFC = Generic Flow Control (4 bits) (default: 4-zero bits) VPI = Virtual Path Identifier (8 bits UNI) or (12 bits NNI) VCI = Virtual channel identifier (16 bits) PT = Payload Type (3 bits) CLP = Cell Loss Priority (1-bit) HEC = Header Error Control (8-bit CRC. a single NNI ATM interconnection is capable of addressing almost 212 VPs of up to almost 216 VCs each (in practice some of the VP and VC numbers are reserved). All four GFC bits must be zero by default.
Connection-oriented data service: For connection-oriented file transfer and in general. testing. Virtual Path (F4. AAL2. data network applications where no connection is set up before data is transferred. data network applications where a connection is set up before data is transferred. the AAL5 protocol is often used to support this class of service.OA&M is defined for supervision. disassembling of payload. Examples of this service include compressed packetized voice or video. header. AAL5) AAL0 PDU: 7 . AAL3/4. Different AALs were defined in supporting different traffic or service expected to be used. Either AAL3/4 or AAL5 can be used to support this class of service. The service classes and the corresponding types of AALs were as follows: Class A . and performance monitoring. It uses loop-back for maintenance and ITU TS standard CMIP. called AAL3/4.Between VC endpoints). Transmission Path (F3.reassemble the payloads into a format the higher layers can understand. This operation. this type of service has variable bit rate and does not require bounded delay for delivery. Class C . performs frame synchronization) and Regenerator Section (F1. Class D . fixed-rate uncompressed video and leased lines for private data networks.Variable Bit Rate (VBR) service: AAL2 supports a connection-oriented service in which the bit rate is variable but requires a bounded delay for delivery. Two AAL protocols were defined to support this service class.Constant Bit Rate (CBR) service: AAL1 supports a connection-oriented service in which the bit rate is constant. or control).AAL: ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL0.Connectionless data service: Examples of this service include datagram traffic and in general. is the main task of AAL. Operation Administration and Maintenance (OA&M) . The requirement on bounded delay for delivery is necessary for the receiver to reconstruct the original uncompressed voice or video. which is called Segmentation and Reassembly (SAR). Examples of this service include 64 Kbit/sec voice.Between elements that perform assembling.Between regeneration sections). Digital Section (F2 Between section end-points.Between VP endpoints). Protocol Structure . Class B . But with its high complexity. with organization into 5 hierarchical levels: Virtual Channel (F5 . and have been merged into a single type.
8 . with compression. AAL2 CPS Packet The CPS packet consists of a 3 octet header followed by a payload. SAR PDU payload. AAL type 2 is subdivided into the Common Part Sublayer (CPS) and the Service Specific Convergence Sublayer (SSCS ). 8bits CID 6bits LI 5bits UUI 5bits HEC AAL2 CPS packet 1-45/64 bytes Information payload y y CID.Convergence sublayer indicator. The structure of the AAL2 CPS packet is shown in the following illustration. is also referred to as raw cells.Parity calculated over the CRC. NP. Numbers the stream of SAR PDUs of a CPCS PDU (modulo 16). P.47-byte user information field.Sequence number protection.Cyclic redundancy check calculated over the SAR header. Value is one less than the packet payload and has a default value of 45 bytes (may be set to 64 bytes). AAL1 PDU: 1 SN CSI SC 3 bits 3 bits SNP CRC P 1 47 Bytes SAR Payload y y y y y y y SN. silent and idle channel suppression.Sequence court. LI. SC. Used for residual time stamp for clocking. AAL2 PDU: AAL2 is perfect for low-rate voice traffic.Channel identification. CRC.AAL0 payload consists of 48 bytes without special field.Sequence number.Length indicator: the length of the packet payload associated with each individual user. CSI.
2bits 14bits 16bits 6bits 10bits . The CPS packet contains a SSCS payload. AAL2 CPS PDU The structure of the AAL2 CPS PDU is shown as follows: 6bits OSF 1bit SN 1bit P 0-47 bytes AAL2 PDU payload AAL2 CPS PDU 0-47 bytes PAD y y y y y OSF . Type 2 Partially protected.Header error control. P . SN . and Type 3 Fully protected: the entire payload is protected by a 10-bit CRC which is computed as for OAM cells. Provides a link between the CPS and an appropriate SSCS that satisfies the higher layer application. SSCS packets are transported as CPS packets over AAL2 connections. There are 3 SSCS packet types: Type 1 Unprotected. SAR PDU payload . The general sturcture of AAL2 SSCS Type 3 PDUs is shown as follows. The format varies according to the actual message type. Facsimile demodulated control data. HEC. voiceband data or circuit mode data.Offset field.y y y UUI. Alarms and User state control operations. Protects data integrity.Contains the CPS/SSCS PDU. Identifies the location of the start of the next CPS packet within the CPS-PDU.Parity.User-to-user indication. PAD . Protects the start field from errors.Sequence number. Channel associated signalling bits.Information field of the SAR PDU. AAL2 SSCS Type 3 Packets: The AAL2 type 3 packets are used for Dialled digits.Padding. this is used by default. The remaining 2 bits of the 2-octet trailer consist of the message type field. Information payload. AAL2 SSCS Packet The SSCS conveys narrowband calls consisting of voice.
CRC -Cyclic redundancy check calculated over the SAR header. LI -Length indicator.Counters packet delay variation and allows a receiver to accurately reproduce the relative timing of successive events separated by a short interval. COM (Continuation of Message). depending on the message type.Redundancy Time stamp Message dependant information Message type CRC-10 AAL2 SSCS Type 3 PDU .Multiplexing Indication PDU payload -44-byte user information field. EOM (End of Message). SSM (Single Segment Message). Message dependant information Packet content that varies.The message type code.Packets are sent 3 times to ensure error correction. MID . Time stamp . The value in this field signifies the transmission number. CRC-10 . Numbers the stream of SAR PDUs of a CPCS PDU (modulo 16). AAL3/4 CS PDU: 1 CPI 1 BTag 2 bits BAsize 40 Bytes PDU Payload + PAD 1 AL 1 ETag 2 bits LEN y y y y CPI .The 10-bit CRC. SN -Sequence number.General Structure y y y y y Redundancy . AAL3/4 PDU: 2 ST 4 SN 10 bits MID 44 Bytes PDU Payload 6 bits LI 10 bits CRC y y y y y y ST -Segment Type: BOM (Begin of Message).Common Part Indication BTag -Beginning Tag BAsize -Buffer Allocation Size PDU payload -Variable length user information field up to 40 Bytes 10 . Message type .
The possible values for OAM type and function type are defined for Fault. G(x) = x10+x9+x5+x4+x+1 11 . For OA&M cells. LEN -Length of Information Field AAL5 CS PDU: 0-48 Bytes PDU payload 0-47 PAD 1 UU 1 CPI 2 LI 4 Bytes CRC-32 AAL5 is the simple and efficient AAL (SEAL) which is the one used most for data traffic. y y y y y PDU payload -Variable length user information field PAD -Padding used to cell align the trailer which may be between 0 and 47 bytes long. Performance. AL -Alignment. Activation/Deactivation CRC-10 -Cyclic redundancy check calculated over the SAR header. there are pre-defined (reserved) VPI/VCI numbers: y y y y 0/0 Unassigned or Idle0/1 Meta-signaling 0/3 Segment F4 Flow0/4 End-to-end F4 flow 0/5 Signaling 0/15 SMDS 0/16 Interim Layer Management Interface (ILMI) F4/F5 OA&M PDU format: 4 bits OAM Type 4 bits Function Type 45 Bytes Function Spec 6 bits Reserve 10 bits CRC-10 y y OAM type / Function type. A filling byte coded with zero ETag -End Tag. UU -CPCS user-to-user indication to transfer one byte of user information CPI .Common Part Indication LI -Length indicator. it has no per-cell length nor per-cell CRC fields.y y y y PAD -Padding (up to 3 bytes) used to cell align the trailer.
The problem will be solved when processor speed is improved. 3. EFCI within the PTI) or may be based on a more sophisticated mechanism between the ATM end-system and ATM switches. Higher speed links can make the congestion condition in the switch even worse. BECN and DE bits. congestion is handled by the FECN. congestion will occur at the switch. but since the traffic demands are stochastic and cannot be predicted. The problem will be solved when highspeed links become available. Congestion is caused by slow links. It is not always the case. Congestion is caused by the shortage of buffer space. In Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks. This statement can be explained to be wrong 12 . congestion occurs. If two sources begin to send to destination 1 at their peak rate. 2. Misunderstandings about the causes and solutions of congestion control 1. Congestion control is therefore necessary to ensure that users get the negotiated Quality of Service (QoS). The ATM Forum has developed a mechanism based on rate control for Available Bit Rate (ABR)-type traffic. sometimes increases in link bandwidth can aggravate the congestion problem because higher speed links may make the network more unbalanced. congestion is unavoidable. Whenever the total input rate is greater than the output link capacity. In Frame Relay networks. Congestion is caused by slow processors. The long queue and long delay introduced by large memory is undesirable for many applications. Larger buffers are useful only for very short term congestions and will cause undesirable long delays. It gets its name because it avoids "network traffic jams". When the network becomes congested. congestion control schemes may be based on fields within the ATM cell header (CLP.2. CONGESTION CONTROL: A technique for monitoring network utilization and manipulating transmission or forwarding rates for data frames to keep traffic levels from overwhelming the network medium. resulting in buffer overflows and cell loss. The problem will be solved when the cost of memory becomes cheap enough to allow very large memory. the queue lengths may become very large in a short time. What causes congestion? The assumption that statistical multiplexing can be used to improve the link utilization is that the users do not reach their peak rate values simultaneously.4.
it is expected that the final solution will use a variety of techniques. which adds more traffic and further congests the network. which then transmits at the appropriate rate. and any static solutions are therefore not sufficient to solve the problem . slow link. slow processor are symptoms. The Problem Most networks fail to tell applications how much bandwidth is available at any given instant. The application must then retransmit the data. Rate-Based versus Credit-Based control 13 . the target will soon be overwhelmed. not the causes of congestion.similarly to the second one. As a result. All the issues presented above: buffer shortage. rate-based and credit-based traffic-flow control . the network measures the minimum available bandwidth along the connection and communicates the amount of bandwidth to the application. Congestion is a dynamic problem. applications have no basis on which to control the amount of data they send. End-to-end versus link-by-link control A network can control congestion over an entire connection path or by sub-links. the network buffers fill up and can overflow. each link along the network connection controls its traffic flow independently. While the problem of congestion control is still under discussion in the ATM Forum. With end-to-end control. When applications send more data than the network can handle. Possible solutions An ATM network performs congestion control so that ABR traffic can efficiently use the bandwidth that has not been guaranteed to Constant Bit Rate (CBR) and (Variable Bit Rate) VBR traffic. Under the link-to-link technique. Each link buffers data as needed to adjust the incoming speed to the outgoing speed. Faster processors will transmit more data per unit time. If several nodes begin to transmit to one destination simultaneously at their peak rate. Each link in the network simply forwards the data as fast as it receives it. including end-to-end. link-by-link. Proper congestion management mechanisms are more important than ever. Effective congestion control reduces the need to retransmit data due to congestion.
the network indicates to the sending device the amount of buffer space (credits) available in the network. contrast with the traditional narrowband ISDN (or N-ISDN). the application gets fewer credits and they're replenished less often. the link-bylink option can be used to control ABR traffic. the number of credits is increased and replenished fast enough that the application can transmit at full speed. Because most existing ATM equipment already offers the default method. Here. Integrated congestion control The integrated proposal currently under consideration by the ATM Forum provides for an end-to-end. the network can tell an application that it can send 1000 cells per second. If the network becomes congested. while providing for future growth. The network periodically replenishes the application's credits. If the network becomes congested. Also the additional bandwidth offered will allow such 14 . with the link-by-link scheme as an option where more precise control is needed. BISDN currently uses ATM technology over SONET-based transmission circuits to provide data rates from 155 to 622Mbps and beyond. BROADBAND ISDN: BROADBAND INTEGRATED SERVICES DIGITAL NETWORK (BISDN) Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (BISDN or Broadband ISDN) is designed to handle high-bandwidth applications. after which it must wait. when the network is no longer congested. which is only 64 Kb ps basically and up to 2 Mbps. The credit-based technique is slightly different. users should soon have a standards based ABR congestion-control scheme. rate-based scheme as the default method.The rate-based traffic-flow technique constantly tells the application what transmission rate (the currently allowed rate) the sending device should use. it reduces this rate and notifies the application. For example. the application may be allowed to transmit 100 cells. If the network requires a more precise congestion management scheme. For example. 2. When a connection is made from an end-to-end device. which was also supported by N-ISDN. When the congestion clears. the link-by-link device would simply perform the end-to-end flow control when talking to that device. The designed Broadband ISDN (BISDN) services can be categorized as follows: y Conversational services such as telephone-like services. This would preserve existing equipment. the rate is increased. This forces the application to slow the sending of data.5.
No user control of presentation. high speed data transfer. This would be for instance. video conferencing and high volume. using end-to-end logical connections or virtual circuits. 15 . ATM Layer. a special virtual circuit channel can be used for signaling. It has those functions: Generic flow control (GFC) function. Messaging services. Protocol Structure . Applications could include voice and video mail. This layer is responsible for mapping the service offered by ATM to the service expected by the higher layers. This would apply to broadcast information that the user can partially control. The broadband information transfer is provided by the use of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM). B-ISDN was not widely deployed so far. and information is sent to the user on demand only. However. Retrieval services which provides access to (public) information stores. User controlled presentation. Broadband ISDN uses out-of-band signaling (as does N-ISDN). Cell multiplex and demultiplex. It has two sublayers.B ISDN: Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (Broadband ISDN) Broadband ISDN protocol reference model is based on the ATM reference model ATM adaptation layer (AAL).y y y y services as video telephony. in cases. The B-ISDN is designed to offer both connection oriented and connectionless services. This layer is independent of the physical medium over which transmission is to take place. Instead of using a D Channel as in N-ISDN. where the user can choose simply either to view or not. Cell header generation and extraction. as well as multi-media mail and traditional electronic mail. which is mainly a store-and-forward type of service. a TV broadcast.
ATM . This consists of two sub layers: Transport Convergence (TC) and Physical medium (PM) The management plane consists of two functions to perform layer management and plane management. The plane management is not layered as the other layers are. The layer management provides information and control facilities for the protocol entities that exists in each individual layer. It also includes mechanisms to perform error recovery. B-ICI 16 . The user plane provides for the transfer of user information. The control plane is responsible for the supervision of connections. Related Protocols ISDN . including call setup. flow control etc. call release and maintenance. This includes operation and maintenance (OAM) functions for each layer. This is because it relies needs information on all aspects of the system to provide management facilities for the systems as a whole.Physical layer.
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