ESP: A flexible, high-performance, PLD-based network service

M. Muthulakshmi, J. Robert Heath, Kenneth L. Calvert, James Griffioen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Emerging network-level services, such as Ephemeral State Processing (ESP), provide end systems with the ability to control the way in which their packets are processed at routers in the network. Supporting user-defined per-packet processing at today's wire-speeds requires significant computational power. Special-purpose Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips offer the performance, but not the extensibility needed to support these evolving services. In our previous work, we explored the use of programmable (general-purpose) network processors as a potential solution. Although network processors are easily extensible, they pay a performance penalty for that flexibility. In this paper, we explore a third approach; the use of Programmable Logic Devices (PLD) that combine the flexibility of a network processor with the performance of an ASIC. We describe a PLD implementation of the ESP service, discuss the challenges involved, and present performance numbers showing significant speedups over our previous network processor implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1018
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE International Conference on Communications
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 IEEE International Conference on Communications - Paris, France
Duration: Jun 20 2004Jun 24 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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