3,203 research outputs found

    Field-based branch prediction for packet processing engines

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    Network processors have exploited many aspects of architecture design, such as employing multi-core, multi-threading and hardware accelerator, to support both the ever-increasing line rates and the higher complexity of network applications. Micro-architectural techniques like superscalar, deep pipeline and speculative execution provide an excellent method of improving performance without limiting either the scalability or flexibility, provided that the branch penalty is well controlled. However, it is difficult for traditional branch predictor to keep increasing the accuracy by using larger tables, due to the fewer variations in branch patterns of packet processing. To improve the prediction efficiency, we propose a flow-based prediction mechanism which caches the branch histories of packets with similar header fields, since they normally undergo the same execution path. For packets that cannot find a matching entry in the history table, a fallback gshare predictor is used to provide branch direction. Simulation results show that the our scheme achieves an average hit rate in excess of 97.5% on a selected set of network applications and real-life packet traces, with a similar chip area to the existing branch prediction architectures used in modern microprocessors

    Ultra-high throughput string matching for deep packet inspection

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    Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) involves searching a packet's header and payload against thousands of rules to detect possible attacks. The increase in Internet usage and growing number of attacks which must be searched for has meant hardware acceleration has become essential in the prevention of DPI becoming a bottleneck to a network if used on an edge or core router. In this paper we present a new multi-pattern matching algorithm which can search for the fixed strings contained within these rules at a guaranteed rate of one character per cycle independent of the number of strings or their length. Our algorithm is based on the Aho-Corasick string matching algorithm with our modifications resulting in a memory reduction of over 98% on the strings tested from the Snort ruleset. This allows the search structures needed for matching thousands of strings to be small enough to fit in the on-chip memory of an FPGA. Combined with a simple architecture for hardware, this leads to high throughput and low power consumption. Our hardware implementation uses multiple string matching engines working in parallel to search through packets. It can achieve a throughput of over 40 Gbps (OC-768) when implemented on a Stratix 3 FPGA and over 10 Gbps (OC-192) when implemented on the lower power Cyclone 3 FPGA