network processor

(redirected from Network processing element)

network processor

A programmable CPU chip optimized for networking and communications functions. The network processor is programmed to perform the required packet processing and offers vendors an alternative for building routers, switches and access devices rather than designing a custom chip (see ASIC). MMC Networks coined the term in 1997.
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These IA's delineate open, objective and reproducible tests, configurations and reporting formats that enables networking equipment designers and network processing element vendors to easily assess and compare the performance of similar network processing components and systems.
A first in the industry, the MPLS benchmark specification establishes an objective testing methodology that enables network processing element vendors and equipment manufacturers to evaluate a component's MPLS performance characteristics.
This Working Group is focused on the definition, promotion, and delivery of hardware interfaces for the complete packet data path (Streaming Interface) through a Network Processing Element (NPE) as well as for NPEs that do not need to be in the direct data path (Look-Aside Interface), such as memory or co-processing functions.
Expands the charter to include application-level benchmarks required for switching fabrics -- another key network processing element.
The new network processors combine microengines, network processing elements (NPEs) and enhanced Intel XScale(R) technology to support data plane and control plane processing in a single chip.
This, combined with 2 additional ATM IAs released earlier this year, complete a suite of 14 NPF software ATM APIs for supporting the implementation of ATM interfaces on network processing elements.
An API that standardizes the configuration interface of how network processing elements (NPE), such as a network processor and framer, behave on a system's external network ports, will accelerate the adoption of network processing technologies," said Vinoj Kumar, chair of the NPF Software Working Group.
SLA interface will be an upgrade to the widely adopted Look-Aside Interface (LA-1) between network processing elements and co-processors such as Network Search Engines (NSE).
Now that network processing elements are established; they fit into the umbrella of the OIF work, making the technical work in the NPF a good fit.
The Look-Aside specification provides an open standard interface between the network processing elements (NPE) in the data path and the adjacent devices that offload specific tasks such as Network Search Engines (NSEs), content classifiers and encryption co-processors.
The DiffServ Services API (SAPI) enables applications to communicate QoS parameters to network processing elements that results in differentiated classes of service for IP traffic.

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