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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Lower-Layer (Interface, Internet and Transport) Protocols (OSI Layers 2, 3 and 4)
      9  TCP/IP Internet Layer (OSI Network Layer) Protocols
           9  Internet Protocol (IP/IPv4, IPng/IPv6) and IP-Related Protocols (IP NAT, IPSec, Mobile IP)
                9  Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) / IP Next Generation (IPng)
                     9  IPv6 Datagram Encapsulation and Formatting

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IPv6 Datagram Encapsulation and Formatting
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IPv6 Datagram Main Header Format
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IPv6 Datagram Overview and General Structure
(Page 2 of 2)

IPv6 General Datagram Structure

As I mentioned above, IPv6 datagrams now includes a main header format (which has no official name in the standards, it's just “the header”) and zero or more extension headers. The overall structure therefore is as shown in Table 67 and Figure 104.


Table 67: IPv6 General Datagram Structure

Component

Number of Components Per Datagram

Size (bytes)

Description

Main Header

1

40

Contains the source and destination addresses, and important information required for every datagram.

Extension Headers

0 or more

Variable

Each contains one type of extra information to support various features, including fragmentation, source routing, security and options.

Data

1

Variable

The payload from the upper layer to be transmitted in the datagram.



Figure 104: IPv6 General Datagram Structure

 


Note that as with IPv4, large payloads may be fragmented prior to encapsulation, to ensure that the total size of the datagram doesn't exceed the maximum size permitted on an underlying network. However, the details of fragmentation in IPv6 are different than in IPv4.


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