Design methodology for a modular service-driven network processor architecture

Maria Gabrani, Gero Dittmann, Anderson Döring, Andreas Herkersdorf, Patricia Sagmeister, Jan Van Lunteren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We present a design methodology for a modular network processor architecture that leads to a balanced, service-defined mix between programmable processor cores, configurable hardware assists, and specialized coprocessors. Whereas the processor cores address the flexibility and extendibility needs of the networking market, the hardware components offload the processors, or even allow them to be bypassed for certain network processor-typical tasks to optimize chip area, performance, and power efficiency. We describe the rationale behind the selected functional partitioning in hardware and software components and discuss the challenges of designing the hardware components, and of organizing and integrating the programmable cores. We quantify our approach with a performance evaluation of the overall system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-640
Number of pages18
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number5
StatePublished - 5 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Modular and scalable architectures
  • Network processors
  • Open systems
  • Performance evaluation
  • Systems on a chip


Dive into the research topics of 'Design methodology for a modular service-driven network processor architecture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this