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A virtual circuit network is a category of the packet switching network, where a virtual path is established between the source and the destination systems for data communication to occur. This path appears to the user as if it is a dedicated physical path, but actually is a logical circuit allocated from a managed pool of circuit resources as per traffic requirements. The network resources forming parts of this path can be shared by other communications, however, is not visible to this user.
ATM also known as cell relay, is a streamlined packet transfer interface that takes advantage of the reliability and fidelity of modern digital facilities to provide faster packet switching than x2. Like packet switching and frame relay, ATM involves the transfer of data in discrete chunks and allows multiple logical connections to be multiplexed over a single physical interface.
In the case of ATM, the information flow on each logical connection is organized into fixed-size packets called cells. It is a streamlined protocol with minimal error and flows control capabilities. This reduces the overhead of processing ATM cells and reduces the number of overhead bits required with each cell, enabling ATMs to operate at high data rates.
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