3,734 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

    Multi-engine packet classification hardware accelerator

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    As line rates increase, the task of designing high performance architectures with reduced power consumption for the processing of router traffic remains important. In this paper, we present a multi-engine packet classification hardware accelerator, which gives increased performance and reduced power consumption. It follows the basic idea of decision-tree based packet classification algorithms, such as HiCuts and HyperCuts, in which the hyperspace represented by the ruleset is recursively divided into smaller subspaces according to some heuristics. Each classification engine consists of a Trie Traverser which is responsible for finding the leaf node corresponding to the incoming packet, and a Leaf Node Searcher that reports the matching rule in the leaf node. The packet classification engine utilizes the possibility of ultra-wide memory word provided by FPGA block RAM to store the decision tree data structure, in an attempt to reduce the number of memory accesses needed for the classification. Since the clock rate of an individual engine cannot catch up to that of the internal memory, multiple classification engines are used to increase the throughput. The implementations in two different FPGAs show that this architecture can reach a searching speed of 169 million packets per second (mpps) with synthesized ACL, FW and IPC rulesets. Further analysis reveals that compared to state of the art TCAM solutions, a power savings of up to 72% and an increase in throughput of up to 27% can be achieved