William M. Miles, Mary E. Kaye, and Brent R. Petersen , "Investigation of Performance of TCP over ATM," Tech. Rep., Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Brunswick, P. O. Box 4400, 15 Dineen Drive, Head Hall, Room D-41, (Fredericton, NB, Canada), E3B 5A3, Sept. 4, 2000.


ATM technologies are dropping in price, and are becoming increasingly available for entire networks down to the workstation level. ATM is an inherently connection-based protocol. However, existing high-level network protocols typically assume a broadcast network and require complex software support to operate on an ATM network. With the specific case of the TCP/IP suite, the overhead is further compounded by the fact that TCP is also connection-oriented. Thus we have a connection-oriented application (TCP) operating on an emulated broadcast network (IP) in turn running over connection-oriented hardware (ATM). This configuration is inherently wasteful, especially because IP headers are large in comparison to ATM cells. By building ATM support directly in to the TCP layer, substantial performance improvements may be made as both the header and processing overhead of the IP layer may be bypassed.

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