A shared‐memory virtual channel queue for ATM broadband terminal adaptors

H. Jonathan Chao, Donald E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to take advantage of the low entry cost of the future public ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) network with shared facilities, it is highly desirable to interconnect different hosts and local area networks (LANs) to the ATM network. The interface between the computer hosts or LANs and the ATM network, commonly called a broadband terminal adaptor (BTA), provides the necessary format conversion for the data packets and the ATM cells. It is conceivable that multiple packets from different virtual channels are interleaved as they arrive at the receive‐end BTA. The BTA must have a sufficiently large buffer, called a virtual channel queue (VCQ), to temporarily store the partially received packets. Once a complete packet has been received, it is forwarded to the host or LAN. Whenever the buffer fills with all incomplete packets, a packet must be discarded to make room for others. In this paper, we first study, through computer simulations, the buffer size requirement of a shared‐memory VCQ for different numbers of virtual channels at various packet loss probabilities. We then present two different implementation architectures for the shared‐memory VCQ, and compare their hardware complexity. The second architecture with linked‐queue approach, adopted in our work, requires less buffer and has better scalability to accommodate a large number of virtual channels. Various possible error conditions, such as cell losses in the ATM network and the VCQ buffer overflow, are considered. Corresponding solutions are proposed and included in the VCQ designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Digital & Analog Communication Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992


  • ATM channel queue
  • Host
  • LAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A shared‐memory virtual channel queue for ATM broadband terminal adaptors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this