Intel Research Seminar

DATE: Thursday , May 23, 2002
TIME: Noon - 1:30 pm
PLACE: Intel Seminar (417 S. Craig Street - 3rd Floor)

Larry Huston
Intel's Network Processor Division

A Programming Framework for Intel's Network Processors

In recent years, we have seen networking bandwidths increase faster than general purpose processors can process packets. As a result, high-end networking devices are using custom ASICs to perform much of the packet processing. To reverse this trend, several companies have introduced network processors. Network processors incorporate many features to overcome performance limitations of general purpose processors such as techniques to hide memory latency, parallelism, and integrated media interfaces. The network processor vendors promise to remove the ASIC design time from the product development cycle as well as offering increased flexibility by allowing new features to be added through software upgrades. In practice many vendors are not realizing the promise of reduced development times because of complicated hardware and low level programming models. In some cases, network processor users are just trading ASIC designers for software developers. In my talk I will provide an overview of Intel's IXP family of network processors and discuss some of the programming challenges encountered when using them. I will then describe Intel's advanced programming framework and how it addresses some of the programming challenges as well as discussing the problems that remain to be solved.

Larry Huston is a principle software architect at Intel's Network Processor Division. He is responsible for defining the software requirements for future network processors as well as designing the advanced programming framework. Prior to Intel, Larry was a software architect at NetBoost where he helped design their programming environment for accelerating network applications such as firewalls and intrusion detection. Prior to NetBoost, Larry was a member of the technical staff at Ipsilon Networks where he designed and implemented Ipsilon's protocols for distributed IP switching and forwarding. Larry received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1995. He also holds MSE and BSE degrees in Computer Engineering and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan.

For Further Seminar Info:
Contact Kim Kaan, 412-605-1203, or visit

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