Internet Protocol Switching

What Does Internet Protocol Switching Mean?

Internetp Protocol switching, far more commonly referrred to as IP Switching, is a routing technique which routes data packets faster than traditional routing by using Layer 3 Switches.


IP Switching is performed by implementing Layer 3 switches which employ Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) hardware and transferring via Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Switches. This speeds up the whole routing process. IP Switching establishes a virtual circuit in ATM switches whenever it needs to route packets that are high priority or packets that are destined for an external network.

Techopedia Explains Internet Protocol Switching

IP Switching is also known as multi layer switching because it performs Layer 3 based routing as well as Layer 2 switching.

IP Switching is a methodology for routing data packets over the network that does the following:

  1. Routes data packets as typical routers do and employs switching mechanisms for the rapid transfer of data.
  2. Examines the data packet/frame using the IP Switching mechanism and than forwards it using Layer 2 switching techniques.
  3. Uses Ipsilon Flow Management Protocol (IFMP) for flow management.
  4. Employs the rapid data scanning and retrieving abilities of an ATM switch.

All of these result in efficient and faster routing technique.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.