Open Access Articles- Top Results for Circuit switching

Circuit switching

Circuit switching is a methodology of implementing a telecommunications network in which two network nodes establish a dedicated communications channel (circuit) through the network before the nodes may communicate. The circuit guarantees the full bandwidth of the channel and remains connected for the duration of the communication session. The circuit functions as if the nodes were physically connected as with an electrical circuit.

The defining example of a circuit-switched network is the early analog telephone network. When a call is made from one telephone to another, switches within the telephone exchanges create a continuous wire circuit between the two telephones, for as long as the call lasts.

Circuit switching contrasts with packet switching which divides the data to be transmitted into packets transmitted through the network independently. In packet switching, instead of being dedicated to one communication session at a time, network links are shared by packets from multiple competing communication sessions, resulting in the loss of the quality of service guarantees that are provided by circuit switching.

In circuit switching, the bit delay is constant during a connection, as opposed to packet switching, where packet queues may cause varying and potentially indefinitely long packet transfer delays. No circuit can be degraded by competing users because it is protected from use by other callers until the circuit is released and a new connection is set up. Even if no actual communication is taking place, the channel remains reserved and protected from competing users.

Virtual circuit switching is a packet switching technology that emulates circuit switching, in the sense that the connection is established before any packets are transferred, and packets are delivered in order.

While circuit switching is commonly used for connecting voice circuits, the concept of a dedicated path persisting between two communicating parties or nodes can be extended to signal content other than voice. Its advantage is that it provides for continuous transfer without the overhead associated with packets making maximal use of available bandwidth for that communication. Its disadvantage is that it can be relatively inefficient because unused capacity guaranteed to a connection cannot be used by other connections on the same network.