“We had never fully optimized for latency before, so we looked at
everything from packet processing to queuing and output on a single chip
with shared memory doing cut-through switching,” said Lenoski. “We have
a number of experts in networking, silicon and the customer
applications, and it’s the combination of that knowledge that lets us do
these things,” he said.
The near-GHz chip is one of several
40-nm designs now in shipping Cisco products. “We have a number of 28-nm
designs in the pipeline, but we are not in a lot of production at 28 nm
yet,” Lenoski said.
The company’s ASICs serve a range of systems including high-end,
processor-intensive routers and boxes that push the limits of virtual
switching or pack an outsized number of 40- and 100-Gbit/s interfaces.
it started work on 65-nm chips, Cisco has been increasingly involved in
physical layout of some of its designs, including Montecello. It’s
switch and router group has a full customer-owned tooling capability to
handle physical design.
Proponents of the OpenFlow initiative
said the trend toward centralized software-defined networks will
radically simplify the tomorrow's routers and switches. Lenoski doesn't
“There are real-time constraints and reachability
issues because switches and routers are distributed, deployed all over
the place, and they are not one-to-one connected to servers,” Lenoski
said. “So I think a lot of functions will stay in switches and routers,
but the ability to program and understand the network [centrally] will
increase over time,” he added.
They might be forced to do whether they like it or not...if every box maker standardize on commonly available ICs nothing would prevent a new competitor from copy and paste operation in China...your own ASIC might be the only real solution to that threat, suing might be more challenging...Kris
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.