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In this case the asynchronously transferred blocks are called data packets, for example ATM cells.
The opposite is circuit switched communication, which provides constant bit rate, for example ISDN and SONET/SDH.
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In telecommunications, asynchronous communication is transmission of data, generally without the use of an external clock signal, where data can be transmitted intermittently rather than in a steady stream.
Any timing required to recover data from the communication symbols is encoded within the symbols.
The most significant aspect of asynchronous communications is that data is not transmitted at regular intervals, thus making possible variable bit rate, and that the transmitter and receiver clock generators do not have to be exactly synchronized all the time.
In asynchronous transmission, data is sent one byte at a time and each byte is preceded by start bit and stop bit.Examples are the RS-232C serial standard, and MNP2 and V.2 modems and older.