Meaning – The asynchronous transfer mode, or ATM is a set of protocols that are designed for computer networks. In this transfer mode, the data is split into small packets, and each packet is routed along different virtual paths that are set up in the network. It is asynchronous in the sense that the recurrence of cells containing information from an individual user is not necessarily periodic.
Over time, the ATM standard has overtaken the likes of the ethernet, as the latter is sometimes unpredictable, and makes it difficult to put a number on factors such as data rate or maximum delay.
The Asynchronous Transfer Mode is a little more complex than other standards, but this allows to give certain guarantees with respect to factors such as data rate, maximum delay and jitter.
Example of Usage – “ATM has been very successful in WANs, as well as in Local Area Networks (LAN). Today, many ADSL implementations use ATM technology.”