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Performance Modeling and Architectural Exploration of Network Processors

Proceedings of the International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of SysTems (QEST-05)
Torino, Italy, September 2005


  1. Govind S., Supercomputer Education and Research Center
  2. R. Govindarajan, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre; Department of Computer Science and Automation


This paper proposes a Petri net model for a commer-cial network processor (Intel IXP architecture) which is a multithreaded multiprocessor architect ure. We consider and model three different applications viz., IPv4 forwarding, Network Address Translation, and IP Security runningon IXP 2400/2850. A salient feature of the Petri net model is its ability to model the application, architecture and their interaction in great detail. The model is validated using the Intel proprietary tool (SDK 3.51 for IXP architecture) over a range of configurations.

We conduct a detailed performance evaluation, identifythe bottleneck resource, and propose a few architectural extensions and evaluate them in detail.


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