High Speed Packet Switching Technology

High-speed backbone networks are networks that provide rapid variable data rate (dynamic bandwidth) transport between switching centers. Traditional switching systems have been limited to low-speed fixed bandwidth connections.

High-speed switching systems are telecommunications infrastructures composed of circuits and equipment capable of near-instantaneous connection of end points at near-perfect efficiency and required data transmission throughput.

High-speed packet switching technology allows multiple communication channels to share the resources of a data communication network. This allows the same network to integrate voice, data, and video signals. In addition to the rapid switching of packets, packet switches are designed to handle different types of packets in different ways. Packet switches receive incoming packets, update the address information of the packets with their new destination address, temporarily store the packets until the next path and channel becomes available, and then transfers the packet to the appropriate communication line (Path) and channel (time slot or portion of a time slot).

Figure 1 shows a high-speed data packet switching system. This diagram shows that several high-speed data transmission lines are providing packet to the packet switch. The packet switch uses a routing table to search for the incoming address and then it replaces the address with the new packet destination address (the next switch or end point). The data packet is then stored in buffer memory where it waits for availability of its destination path and channel. This diagram also shows how the packet switch manages excessive network switch activity. As the packet switch gets busy (receives more data than it can process), the buffer memory begins to fill. As the buffer memory nears exhaustion, packets within the memory will be reviewed for priority and low-level priority data packets will be discarded.

Figure 1: High-Speed Packet Switching

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