Stream Control Transmission Protocol

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What Does Stream Control Transmission Protocol Mean?

The Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) association is an SCTP endpoint uniquely identified by transport addresses. Only one SCTP association occurs between two endpoints at a time.


The SCTP protocol is specified by RFC 4960, which updates RFC 2960 and RFC 3309.

Techopedia Explains Stream Control Transmission Protocol

SCTP associations are comprised of the following attributes:

  • Two SCTP terminals
  • Protocol data state
  • Active DATA chunk group

SCTP is a transport layer protocol operating through a connectionless packet network. This is an Internet Protocol (IP) for terminal communication regulation.

During transport, SCTP separates and identifies stream and DATA/control chunks as stream identifiers (SIs), stream sequence numbers (SSNs) and transmission sequence numbers (TSNs).

SCTP provides the following features:

  • Error-free data transfer
  • Sequenced and non-duplicated message delivery
  • Optional single packet bundling
  • Optional order of arrival delivery for individual messages
  • Multihoming support at association endpoints
  • Maximum transmission unit (MTU) path size for data fragmentation

SCTP always transports control chunk packets before DATA chunks, which require 32-bit boundary termination.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

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.