Which is more efficient?

Joe Abley jabley at hopcount.ca
Thu Jan 15 14:07:03 UTC 2009

On 2009-01-14, at 15:56, Murphy, Jay, DOH wrote:

> In your humble opinion, which transmission method is more efficient,  
> packet or cell?

When you say "transmission method" are you just interested in packet/ 
cell forwarding, or are you also including the effort involved in  
segmentation and reassembly?

And when you say "efficient" are you talking about power consumption,  
or cost per bit, or payload versus header, or minimising jitter for  
isochronous applications, or something else?

If the question is a pragmatic one (e.g. "which will allow me to get  
the most sleep, and spend the least money") then perhaps at low  
speeds, with Nortel's bankruptcy imminent, you could expect to find a  
lot of cheap ATM gear on the used market that would be the right short- 
term answer. It'd have to be pretty cheap though. I have met clueful  
people who have come to this conclusion, astonishing though it seemed  
to me at the time.

At higher speeds, you might find that ATM gear either doesn't exist,  
or is so ludicrously expensive compared to ethernet switches that it  
makes you laugh coffee all over your keyboard.


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