A Desk Area Network (DAN) is a workstation with multimedia capabilities that uses ATM interconnect (this is shown in the figure below). A workstation is a computer that is specially designed for scientific or technical applications. Workstations provide higher performance than personal computers and have better multitasking, memory and graphics capabilities. Multimedia comprises content that uses a different combination of content such as audio, images, texts, etc as compared to text-only or traditional printed material.

In a DAN the communication happens between the CPU and the peripheral devices connected to it by using the ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode). ATM is used to transmit all information including multi-size packets called cells. These cells are small and fixed-sized packets and they are transmitted asynchronously. Here asynchronous means that the data is transmitted without the use of an external clock signal in an intermittent rather than in a steady stream fashion.

(In a Desk Area network the devices are taken out of the workstation. The devices are directly attached to the network. The workstation works to coordinate the flow of data from these devices on the network to other devices.)

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The architecture of a DAN

DAN is a simple multimedia based architecture. As told earlier, it uses ATM technology to connect different parts of the same machine. The intention is to improve the throughput rate of the CPU (Central Processing Unit).

Throughput is basically the amount of work a computer can do in a given amount of time. In the case of CPU, it is normally calculated by dividing the file size by time to get the throughput in megabits, kilobits or bits per second. All the devices in the DAN work together with the help of internal transfer protocols.

In a DAN, all devices communicate by using ATM cells. This is done for control and information transfers. The use of ATM technology in the large/regional area network and among the devices in the DAN significantly streamlines the network-user interface. The connection-oriented nature of all information streams is used to offer routing details from LAN/WAN to an area and to provide context at the endpoint.

Advantages of a DAN

  1. DAN provides better and improved CPU performance.
  2. It facilitates devices to devise communication and device to internal CPU communication as per the required situation thereby increasing the performance of the system.
  3. The usage of ATM technology in data communication and transfer offers high-level bandwidth.

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