Site home page
(news and notices)

Get alerts when Linktionary is updated

Book updates and addendums

Get info about the Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunicatons, 3rd edition (2001)

Download the electronic version of the Encyclopedia of Networking, 2nd edition (1996). It's free!

Contribute to this site

Electronic licensing info



Cut-Through Architecture

Related Entries    Web Links    New/Updated Information

Search Linktionary (powered by FreeFind)

Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Cut-through architecture is one method of design for packet-switching systems. When a packet arrives at a switch, the switch starts forwarding the packet almost immediately, reading only the first few bytes in the packet to learn the destination address. This technique improves performance.

The opposite approach is the store-and-forward technique that is commonly used in traditional bridges and routers. In this approach, the entire packet is received in a buffer before it is forwarded. The device performs error checking on the packet as well. The entire store-and-forward process takes time and adds latency, but reduces errors.

As network throughput has increased, the cut-through method became an essential part of switch design. It is no longer possible to hold packets up using the store-and-forward method. Some devices use both methods, switching to store-and-forward if network errors start to increase.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.