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ATM User Network Interface (UNI) Specification Version 3.1

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ATM User Network Interface (UNI) Specification Version 3.1


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  • the authoritative guide to the new ATM User Interface Version 3.1 standard that defines the primary specification for end-system connection to ATM networks.
  • describes how to build equipment that will interoperate within a high-speed ATM network.
  • reflects ITU-T recommendations 1,610, Q.2100, Q.220, Q.2130 and Q.2931.
  • covers the Physical Layer Interfaces Specificatoin, as well as standards for traffic and congestion control, MIBs, Message Functional Definitions and Contents, Support for 64 Kb ISDN Circuit Mode Services, and other specifications.


  • Copyright 1995
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 432
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-393828-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-393828-9

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is the hottest network technology in the marketplace, enabling extremely high-speed transmission of all user traffic, including voice, data and video. The UNI 3.1 standard enables developers to build equipment that will fully interoperate in today's public and private ATM network environments. This is the only authoritative guide to this new standard, by The ATM Forum, the industry-led consortium that created it. KEY TOPICS: The book presents highly-detailed specifications for interfacing ATM user devices, public and private network equipment. It also covers significant Version 3.1 changes in signaling and signaling virtual channels. MARKET:: Communications engineers and programmers developing ATM applications and equipment. Version 3.0 of this title was a Prentice Hall PTR bestseller.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction.

Purpose of Document. Scope of Document. Structure of Document. Terminology. ATM Bearer Service Overview. User—Network Interface Configuration. User—Network Interface Protocol Architecture.

 2. Physical Layer Interfaces Specification.

SONET STS—3c Physical Layer Interface. DS3 Physical Layer Interface. Physical Layer for 100 Mbps Multimode Fiber Interface. Physical Layer for 155 Mbps Interface. E3 Physical Layer Services. E4 Physical Layer Interface.

 3. ATM Layer Specification.

ATM Layer Services. Service Expected from the Physical Layer. ATM Cell Structure and Encoding at the UNI. ATM Layer Functions Involved at the UNI (U—plane). ATM Layer Management Specification (M—plane). Traffic Control and Congestion Control.

 4. Interim Local Management Interface Specification.

Interim Local Management Interface (ILMI) Functions. ILMI Service Interface. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Management Information Base (MIB) Model for ILMI Managed Objects. Relationship to Other MIBs. Actual MIB. ILMI Protocol.

 5. UNI Signalling.

General. Overview of Call Control. Message Functional Definitions and Contents. General Message Format and Information Element Coding. Call/Connection Control Procedures For ATM Point-to-Point Calls. Call/Connection Control Procedures for Point-to-Multipoint Calls. List of Timers. Address Registration. Signalling ATM Adaptation Layer (SAAL).


Annex A: Guidelines for Use of ATM Address Formats.

Annex B: Compatibility Checking.

Annex C: B—LLI Negotiation.

General. B—LLI notification to the called user. B—LLI negotiation between users. Alternate requested values.

Annex D: Transit Network Selection.

Selection not supported. Selection supported.

Annex E: Cause Definitions.

Annex F: ATM Adaptation Layer Parameters Negotiation.

General. ATM adaptation layer parameter indication in the SETUP message. Maximum CPCS—SDU Size negotiation. MID range negotiation. Use of Forward and Backward Maximum CPCS—SDU Size by the AAL entity in the user plane.

Appendix A: A Quality of Service Guidelines.

Introduction. QoS Reference Configuration. ATM Performance Parameters. QoS Classes. Measurement Methods. Factors Affecting ATM QoS Performance Parameters.

Appendix B: Conformance Examples in a Traffic Contract.

Introduction. Example 1: Switched Multi—megabit Data Service (SMDS). Example 2a: Frame Relay Service (FRS). Example 2b: Frame Relay Service (FRS). Example 3: Constant Bit Rate Services. Example 4: LAN Interconnection.

Appendix C: Point—to—Mulitpoint Signalling Procedures Using Separate State Machines (Informative).

Introduction. Description of the Separate State Machines. Information Flows for Point—to—Multipoint Communication.

Appendix D: Example Signalling Codings.

ATM Adaptation Layer Parameters. Broadband Bearer Capability. Broadband Low Layer Information.

Appendix E: Differences with ITU—T draft Recommendation Q.2931.

Appendix F: Guidelines on the use of Bearer Class, Traffic Parameters and QoS.

Bearer Class. Allowed Combination of Bearer Capabilities, Traffic Parameters, and QoS.

Appendix G: OAM Cell Error Detection Code Field.

Appendix H: Glossary.


Since the publication of the ATM User-Network Interface Specification, Version 3.0 (UNI 3.0), a number of international standards have been completed. In particular, recent progress within the ITU for the following ITU-T Recommendations: I.610, Q.2100, Q.2110, Q.2130 and Q.2931 has bearing on the interface specified in UNI 3.0.

This version, UNI 3.1, of the interface specification has been created to bring the ATM Forum implementation agreements in line with the recent agreements in international standards and is intended to allow interoperation of equipment designed to the ATM Forum implementation agreements and equipment designed to international standards. It should be noted that these changes render this new version compatible with version 3.0 for signaling and signaling virtual channels.


Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is widely acknowledged as the base technology for the next generation of global communications. ATM provides a unique ability to handle the real-time networking requirements of emerging multimedia applications, while providing compatibility with the increasing bandwidth needs for current installations.

ATM solutions are being deployed throughout the wide area and enterprise network backbone, and all the way to the desktop and home. This User-Network Interface (UNI) document that you are reading defines the primary specification for end-system connection to ATM networks. Progress toward the definition of global Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) standards continues at a rapid pace. This is the second published edition of the ATM Forum UNI specification, and contains several new sections which further define the operation of ATM in Local and Wide Area Networks.

It represents the next step in the process which will allow a uniform deployment of interoperable ATM technology. The UNI specification is the result of the combined work of hundreds of companies from all sectors of the industry cooperating towards a common goal. The process which results in rapid convergence and final agreement of so many diverse interests on a single specification is both immense and mind-boggling. It is the strength and flexibility of the underlying ATM technology and its ability to best handle the many conflicting requirements that enables this continuing progress.

The Technical Committee of the ATM Forum creates the UNI specification. The committee meets every 2 months in different locations around the world for up to a week at a time. Typically over 500 people attend these meetings, representing a wide diversity of interests and knowledge. Technical contributions for the meeting, several hundred in number, are sent out electronically ahead of time to the entire membership. This allows participants to review the information before the actual meeting. Contributions are assigned to specific working groups of experts. After a period of discussion and voting, a single recommend document is forwarded to the ATM Forum membership for final review and approval.

From its initial formation in November of 1991, the ATM Forum has grown to over 600 member organizations at the time of this writing. A great deal of credit goes to the Technical Committee for its ability to maintain rapid progress in spite of the difficult logistics required to reach the consensus between such a large number of participants. The industry specifications from the ATM Forum are based on work of international standards organizations. Completion of this document is due to the active participation and dedication of member companies, and individuals who often give up much of their personal time to accomplish the work.

I would particularly like to acknowledge the effort of George Dobrowski and Jim Grace, the Chair and Vice Chair of the ATM Forum Technical Committee for their leadership in guiding our diverse and ever-growing committee to final agreement. Fred Sammartino, President and Chairman of the Board The ATM Forum.


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