From RC Helicopter Wiki
Both are Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technologies. When the receiver is bound to the transmitter, it learns the transmitter's unique identification code. When the transmitter is first switched on, it scans for two free channels and then broadcasts on both simultaneously. The receiver searches the channels for the two containing its transmitters identification code, and then receives data from just those two channels. If one channel is interrupted by interference, then the receiver will notice that the packet is corrupt and can continue working on one channel.
In February of 2011, Spektrum launched a new technology called DSMX adding frequency shifting. DSMX combines the superior data capacity and interference resistance of a wideband signal (like that used in DSM2) with the agility of frequency shifts. DSMX Equipment is backwards compatible with DSM2, when operating in DSM2 mode. DX8 Transmitters can be upgraded by downloading Spektrum AirWare v2.0 and updating firmware using the SD card. All DSM2 transmitters, except the DX5e, are eligible for the add-on for $75 by sending them to the Horizon Hobby service center. DSM2 receivers and transmitter modules are not eligible for the DSMX add-on.
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