Network Processor Paper – Challenges in Network Processor Deployment

Google alert sent me the following link the other day.
Programming Challenges in Network Processor Deployment C. Kulkarni, M. Gries, C.
Sauer, K. Keutzer
Programming multi-processor ASIPs, such as network processors, remains an art due to the wide variety of architectures and due to little support for exploring different implementation alternatives. We present a study that implements an IP forwarding router application on two different network processors to better understand the main challenges in programming such multi-processor ASIPs. The goal of this study is to identify the elements central to a successful deployment of such systems based on a detailed profiling of the two architectures. Our results show that inefficient partitioning can impact the throughput by more than 30%; a better arbitration of resources increases the throughput by at least 10%, and localization of computation related to the memories can increase the available bandwidth on internal buses by a factor of two. The main observation of our study is that there is a critical lack of tools and methods that support an integrated approach to partitioning, scheduling and arbitration, and data transfer management for such system implementations.

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