VCI

Stands for "Virtual Channel Identifier." The VCI, used in conjunction with the VPI (virtual path indicator), indicates where an ATM cell is to travel over a network. ATM, or asynchronous transfer mode, is a method that many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) use to transfer data to client computers. Because ATM sends packets over fixed channels, the data is easier to track than information sent over the standard TCP/IP protocol.

The VCI within each ATM cell defines the fixed channel on which the packet of information should be sent. It is a 16-bit field, compared to the VPI, which is only 8 bits. Since this numerical tag specifies the virtual channel that each packet belongs to, it prevents interference with other data being sent across the network.

Updated 2006

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of VCI on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the VCI definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.