Towards 100G packet processing: Challenges and technologies

Christian Hermsmeyer, Haoyu Song, Ralph Schlenk, Riccardo Gemelli, Stephan Bunse
2009 Bell Labs technical journal  
Driven by media-rich and bandwidth-intensive Internet applications, 100 Gigabit Ethernet embodies the next logical and necessary line speed following 10G/40G, although enormous challenges exist. Can today's device technologies scale, or will new, disruptive approaches be required to overcome throughput and power density limitations? The evolution of field programmable gate array (FPGA) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology was analyzed concerning speed, density, power,
more » ... d pin interfacing. While clock frequencies cannot keep up with the higher interface speeds, massive parallelism and deep pipelining are needed to scale the throughput. The state-of-the-art architectures and algorithms for every aspect of packet processing are described. In addition, we look at alternative memory concepts and cover some emerging technologies: asynchronous FPGAs as a means for boosting the system clock and serial interfaces reducing the pin count between devices. Thereby, economic considerations limit the choice between the options. We conclude that although significant effort is necessary in terms of device and board technology, economic 100G networking is viable. © 2009 Alcatel-Lucent. Ethernet (GbE) interfaces on their server stacks, asking for 100 GbE uplinks towards central switches and for multiple 100 GbE interfaces towards the point of presence. Similar trends exist in the supercomputing and medical engineering space, and in storage area networks (SANs). While in the server and computing space the debate is still on whether to deploy upcoming 40 GbE technology in network interface card (NIC) functions, providers of transport networks are expected to be much more reluctant to perform a costly knight's move from current 10G technology to 40G as an intermediate step, and finally to 100G. On top of the
doi:10.1002/bltj.20373 fatcat:nc5upq6ga5blnmnyuuy4r3hn6y