PVC vs SVC: Difference and Comparison

Electronic data transfer is done through circuits. Circuits carry information that can be in the form of electric current or electromagnetic waves, which are then processed by the various components of the circuit.

Consequently, a circuit is made up of many different components that make this electric data transfer possible.

Key Takeaways

  1. PVC (Permanent Virtual Circuit) establishes a fixed data connection between two points, whereas SVC (Switched Virtual Circuit) dynamically creates a temporary data connection on demand.
  2. PVCs provide dedicated bandwidth and lower latency, making them ideal for applications requiring consistent performance.
  3. SVCs offer more flexibility by allowing multiple users to share the same network resources, which can result in cost savings.


PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and PVC pipes are made from a plastic polymer that is durable, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion and chemicals. SVC stands for steel-vinyl chloride, and SVC pipes are made from a combination of steel and PVC. These pipes are strong and durable and are often used for water mains and underground piping systems.

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PVC circuits are not signalled by the endpoints. The values for the circuit have to be inputted manually. Thus, this circuit is used where the operation follows the same path, and the signalling of the operation does not depend upon the endpoints.


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This type of circuit is used mostly in ATM systems, where if the equipment fails, the circuit also goes down.

SVC circuits are established on user request. Thus these circuits are used whenever the connection between an endpoint and the system is made. Thus, this type of circuit is signalled by the endpoints.

In this type of circuit, whenever the switch of the circuit fails or the connection goes down, the circuit has to be established again.

 Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonPVCSVC
DefinitionPVC stands for Permanent Virtual CircuitSVC stands for Switched Virtual Circuit
InitiationIt is initiated whenever the equipment is switched onIt is initiated when the user demands a connection between the equipment and the main system
ValuesValues to the circuit are fed manually by the end-userValues are made through endpoint signaling
signalingEndpoints do not signal the circuitEndpoint signaling is used to operate the circuit
Circuit operationCircuit stays online even after the processing is completedThe circuit is switched off after operation is completed

What is PVC?

PVC is a Permanent Virtual Circuit that is established between the main system and the equipment. This type of virtual circuit is very useful whenever a constant connection between the main network and an endpoint is needed.

As there is a permanent or constant connection, the circuit stays online even after the operation between the endpoint and the main network is terminated.

In this type of circuit, endpoint signalling is not used for the initiation of the circuit. The initiation is done whenever the endpoint is turned on. This connects the endpoint equipment to the network, and a permanent connection is made.

The connection only goes down if the endpoint equipment goes down. This means the status of the switches in the middle of the network does not affect the performance of the circuit.

Hence this is a very efficient method of transferring data between the endpoint and the network. Consequently, this type of virtual circuit is used for connecting ATMs to the bank system.

The values to the circuit are fed manually by the end user, and thus the transaction can be made through the ATM on the PVC network. After the transaction is made, the circuit returns to its original state.


What is SVC?

SVC is a Switched Virtual Circuit that uses endpoint signalling for the initiation of the circuit. This type of network connection is not permanent and is only operated when the end-user signals a connection.

In this type of circuit, the connection between the network and the endpoint equipment has to be established again after a data transfer has been terminated.

Hence, after one packet of data has been transferred through the network, the connection has to be reestablished for the transfer of the next packet. This process is done on each transfer, making the whole data transfer process time-consuming.

The circuit initiation is done on the end-user demand. Whenever the end-user signals to the main network for the initiation of a circuit, only then the connection between the end-user and the network is made.

Thus the initiation process of an SVC network is done through endpoint signalling. Hence in this type of virtual circuit, after the data transfer process has been completed, the circuit between the endpoint and the network goes down.

The circuit then has to be re-established for the next data transfer process. Hence the efficiency of constant data transfer is less for this circuit than PVC.

Main Differences Between PVC and SVC

  1. PVC is a Permanent Virtual Circuit, and the connection between the endpoint and the network is made permanently. SVC is a Switched Virtual Circuit where the connection is not permanent.
  2. The connection between the equipment and the network for PVC is made when the equipment is switched on. The connection between the endpoint is made on user demand in SVC.
  3. The circuit values are inputted manually by the end user in PVC. The values are fed by endpoint signalling in SVC.
  4. In PVC, endpoint signalling is not present. Endpoint signalling is used for SVC circuit operation.
  5. The PVC circuit does not disappear after the operation is completed. The SVC circuit goes down after the data transfer operation is completed.
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/515886/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/637554/
  3. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/400660/
  4. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/25839/

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