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4.2.2 ATM layer

The primary functions of the ATM layer are associated with the routing and switching of ATM cells. Because ATM cells are packets, the switches are packet switches and the switching operation can be called forwarding, but by convention, because the ATM layer provides a connection-oriented service, the term ‘forwarding’ is generally not used.

The path cells take and the resources allocated to them depend on their service category. This is determined when a virtual connection is
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3.5.1 IPv4 Addresses

The allocation of addresses on the Internet is controlled by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), although authority is delegated to several local registries. IPv4 addresses may be interpreted in two ways. Initially, they were divided into distinct ranges of addresses called classes, but this proved to be inflexible and now a more flexible scheme, called classless addressing, dominates IPv4 internetworks. I shall describe both ways of interpreting IPv4 addresses because the limitat
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3.4 Transmission control protocol (TCP)

As I outlined in the previous section, peer entities in clients and servers exchange HTTP protocol data units when they wish to transfer a resource over the web. I gave very little detail about this because I wanted to focus on the general features of protocols in the application layer of the TCP/IP model. The HTTP protocol data units are transferred from the sender host to the receiver host by calling on the services of the transport layer. In the case we are considering, the transport layer
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3.2 Domain name system

Applications use easy-to-remember names for hosts on the Internet, but before sending any data to a host an application in the source host must translate its name for the destination host to the numerical network address.

The Internet is divided into domains, and an authority in each domain is responsible for allocating names. However, the domains may be divided into sub-domains and the responsibility of allocating sub-domain names may be delegated to other authorities. In this way the
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3.1 What does TCP/IP protocol architecture do?

The Internet is a worldwide public internetwork, which allows computers to communicate with each other even though they may have different manufacturers and different operating systems. The origins of the Internet lie in a project of the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency in the 1970s, where it was intended to foster communication between research institutions rather than operate for profit. However, a substantial amount of traffic carried by the Internet is now related to com
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2.4 Examples of layer functions

There are several functions that can be performed at one or more of the OSI layers. Some of the more common ones are discussed below.

Connection control

For connection-oriented services, a connection must be established between peer entities. A connection has three phases: connection set-up, data transfer and connection clear. If the peer protocol supports connections, each protocol data unit type corresponds to a primitive type; for instance, a connection request primiti
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2.2 Vertical communication

Figure 6 shows the OSI view of adjacent layers. The interface between two layers in the same system is called a service access point (SAP). One of the features of a service access point is that it has an identifier, or an address, which allows each communication between adjacent layers to be uniquely identified. The processes that communicate across the interface are called entities. These are typically software routines, but may also be hardware components. The notation in Figu
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2.1 Layers of communication

An internetwork is a network of networks, composed of terminals, switches and communication media. The overall objective of an internetwork is to allow communication between two (or more) networks. This simple description hides the complications that arise in real networks, in which the types of medium vary, transmission errors occur, transmission links fail, switches fail or become congested, equipment is produced by different manufacturers, networks are owned and maintained by differ
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • evaluate technical descriptions of communication protocols and demonstrate an understanding of their operation

  • describe the characteristics of circuit-switched and packet-switched networks, and of connectionless and connection-oriented modes in packet-switched networks

  • describe the role played by primitives in the OSI reference model

  • explain how ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ com
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5.5.5 Summary

In this section I've briefly considered the very contentious question of what digital representations mean, but this debate must be left to another course. I have also described some of the devices that take digital information back into the analogue world of sight and sound, presenting it in a form that is meaningful to human eyes and ears.


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5.5 Types of output devices

We can make a start by appealing to your own general knowledge.

Exercise 16

You have a computer; list the output devices that it uses.

Dis
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4.2.4 Keyboards

Every computer comes with a keyboard. They are still the main way of taking text across the boundary into the computer. The one I'm using to type this course has 109 keys. Under each key is a pressure sensor that detects when the key has been pressed and sends an electronic signal into the computer. There, a small program called the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) translates the signal into the appropriate numeric code. Other software stores that code in a suitable place in the memory.


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3.1 Ghosts of departed quantities

They are neither finite quantities, or quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?

(Bishop G. Berkeley, The Analyst)

This section follows up the ideas presented in and aims to:

  • define the terms analogue, discrete and digital;

  • look briefly at the human perceptual system, which e
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2.4.4 Manipulation

Suppose I take a digital photograph of myself for my website. Horrified by my wrinkled, baggy appearance, what can I do? Actually, with the right software I can do more or less anything I like: I can smooth out the wrinkles; I can restore the grey hair to its former splendour; I can even put in a background of books to give me a scholarly appearance. In fact, I can so improve the picture that if you met the real me you probably wouldn't recognise me.

‘Massaging’ my photographic imag
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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8.3 The AND operation

The AND operation combines two binary words bit by bit according to the rules

  • 0 AND 0 = 0

  • 0 AND 1 = 0

  • 1 AND 0 = 0

  • 1 AND 1 = 1

In other words, only when both bits are 1 is the result 1. You may find it helpful to think of it this way: when one bit is one and the other bit is 1 the result is 1.

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7.5 Dividing 2's complement integers

Just as multiplication can be turned into repeated additions, so division can be turned into repeated subtractions. And just as shifting a binary integer one place to the left equates to multiplying by two, so shifting a binary integer one place to the right equates to dividing by two.

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7.4 Multiplying 2's complement integers

Multiplication can be thought of as repeated addition. For instance, in denary arithmetic

7 × 5

can be thought of as

7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7

There is therefore no need for a new process for the multiplication of binary integers; multiplication can be transformed into repeated addition.

In multiplication the result is very often much larger than either of the two integers being multiplied, and so a multiple-length representation may be needed to hold the result of a mu
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4.2 Representing text

Study note: You will need to refer to the Reference Manual while you are working through this section.

Please click on the 'View document' link below to read the Reference Manual.


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2.2.3 Positive integers: converting denary numbers to binary

If computers encode the denary numbers of the everyday world as binary numbers, then clearly there needs to be conversion from denary to binary and vice versa. You have just seen how to convert binary numbers to denary, because I did a couple of examples to show you how binary numbers ‘work’. But how can denary numbers be converted to binary? I'll show you by means of an example.

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