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Switches are data link layer devices that, like bridges, enable multiple physical LAN segments to be interconnected into a single larger network. Similar to bridges, switches forward and flood traffic based on MAC addresses. Any network device will create some latency. Switches can use different forwarding techniques-two of these are store-and-forward switching and cut-through switching. In store-and-forward switching, an entire frame must be received before it is forwarded. This means that the latency through the switch is relative to the frame size-the larger the frame size, the longer the delay through the switch. Cut-through switching allows the switch to begin forwarding the frame when enough of the frame is received to make a forwarding decision. This reduces the latency through the switch. Store-and-forward switching gives the switch the opportunity to evaluate the frame for errors before forwarding it. This capability to not forward frames containing errors is one of the advantages of switches over hubs. Cut-through switching does not offer this advantage, so the switch might forward frames containing errors. Many types of switches exist, including ATM switches, LAN switches, and various types of WAN switches. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switches provide high-speed switching and scalable bandwidths in the workgroup, the enterprise network backbone, and the wide area. ATM switches support voice, video, and data applications, and are designed to switch fixed-size information units called cells, which are used in ATM communications. Figure 4-3 illustrates an enterprise network comprised of multiple LANs interconnected across an ATM backbone. Figure 4-3 Multi-LAN Networks Can Use an ATM-Based Backbone When Switching Cells

LAN switches are used to interconnect multiple LAN segments. LAN switching provides dedicated, collision-free communication between network devices, with support for multiple simultaneous conversations. LAN switches are designed to switch data frames at high speeds. Figure 4-4 illustrates a simple network in which a LAN switch interconnects a 10-Mbps and a 100-Mbps Ethernet LAN. Figure 4-4 A LAN Switch Can Link 10-Mbps and 100-Mbps Ethernet Segments

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Q: What is the difference among different types of switching devices in networking?
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