Summary Bridges and Switches

Table 9-3 summarizes the similarities and differences between transparent bridges and switches.

Table 9-3 Switch Internal Processing

Fact/Feature

Transparent Bridge

Switch

Unicast forwarding

Based on bridge table and destination MAC

Same as Bridge

Broadcast forwarding

All broadcasts forwarded

Same as bridge

Learning the bridge table

Examining source MAC of all received frames

Same as bridge

Loop avoidance

Uses Spanning Tree Protocol

Same as bridge

Popular in the market today

No

Yes

Supports dozens or hundreds of physical ports

No

Yes

Allows full duplex when appropriate

No

Yes

Uses specialized hardware (ASICs) for faster processing

No

Yes

Allows cut-through internal processing, as well as store-and-forward processing

No

Yes

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