Performance, scalability, and flexibility in the RAW network router
Author(s)DeGangi, Anthony M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
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Conventional high speed Internet routers are built using custom designed microprocessors, dubbed network processors, to efficiently handle the task of packet routing. While capable of meeting the performance demanded of them, these custom network processors generally lack the flexibility to incorporate new features and do not scale well beyond that for which they were designed. Furthermore, they tend to suffer from long and costly development cycles, since each new generation must be redesigned to support new features and fabricated anew in hardware. This thesis presents a new design for a network processor, one implemented entirely in software, on a tiled, general purpose microprocessor. The network processor is implemented on the Raw microprocessor, a general purpose microchip developed by the Computer Architecture Group at MIT. The Raw chip consists of sixteen identical processing tiles arranged in a four by four matrix and connected by four inter-tile communication networks; the Raw chip is designed to be able to scale up merely by adding more tiles to the matrix. By taking advantage of the parallelism inherent in the task of packet forwarding on this inherently parallel microprocessor, the Raw network processor is able to achieve performance that matches or exceeds that of commercially available custom designed network processors. At the same time, it maintains the flexibility to incorporate new features since it is implemented entirely in software, as well as the scalability to handle more ports by simply adding more tiles to the microprocessor.
Thesis (M. Eng.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 46).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.