Broadcom, Microsoft to Shift TCP/IP Processing to Network Controller

5/8/2003 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, announced that the company is working extensively with Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) to develop new networking technologies designed to dramatically improve the performance of enterprise servers equipped with next-generation high-speed Ethernet adapters. The focus of this collaboration has been to redirect most of the tasks related to Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) processing to the network controller, which in turn, will free up networking-related CPU overhead, resulting in a boost to overall system performance and a reduction of system bottlenecks. Additionally, TCP/IP Offload technology will play a key role in the scalability of servers, enabling next-generation servers to meet the performance criteria of today’s Ethernet networks.

Innovations in data communications technology, fueled by bandwidth-intensive applications, have led to 10x improvements in networking hardware throughput occurring about every four years. These performance improvements, which have gone from 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 100 Mbps, and now to 1-Gigabit per second (Gbps) with 10-Gigabit on the horizon, have far surpassed the CPU’s ability to keep pace. To compensate for this dilemma and free the CPU for general computing requirements, the offloading of TCP/IP functionality to dedicated hardware is a fundamental improvement.

“Windows® TCP/IP Chimney Offload architecture has been developed to maximize host CPU utilization for application workloads on multi-Gigabit networks,” said Jawad Khaki, Corporate Vice President, Windows Networking & Communications Group at Microsoft. “We are pleased to be working with Broadcom as a key partner in the development of TCP/IP Offload Engine network interface cards that advance the scalability of Windows platforms for multi-Gigabit LANs.”

“By working closely with industry leader Microsoft, we can assure our customers that they will receive the best TCP/IP Offload Engine solution in terms of performance, compatibility, robustness and interoperability,” said Thomas Lagatta, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Client/Server Networking Business Unit. “The TCP Chimney approach to TCP/IP offload is symbiotic with the TCP stack embedded in the operating system. The combination of hardware offload for performance, and host stack for controlling the connections, results in the best OS performance while maintaining the flexibility and manageability of the Microsoft TCP stack. End users should expect a significant boost to application performance due to reduced CPU utilization while running the TCP Chimney on Broadcom’s Ethernet network controllers.”

Other approaches to TCP/IP offload technology have not addressed the issue of seamless integration with the operating system’s TCP/IP networking stack. These solutions can only be deployed as standalone functions and are generally limited to storage applications. The result is two or more independent and different TCP/IP implementations running on a single server, making it more complex for IT professionals to manage it. Microsoft’s Chimney Offload architecture will be the first development that segments the TCP/IP processing tasks between TOE engines and the operating system networking stack. The resulting benefit is that all network traffic can be accelerated through a single Broadcom adapter optimized to interoperate with Microsoft’s Chimney architecture and managed in the same coherent fashion that IT professionals are familiar with.

About Broadcom
Broadcom Corporation is the leading provider of highly integrated silicon solutions that enable broadband communications and networking of voice, video and data services. Using proprietary technologies and advanced design methodologies, Broadcom designs, develops and supplies complete system-on-a-chip solutions and related hardware and software applications for every major broadband communications market. Our diverse product portfolio includes solutions for digital cable and satellite set-top boxes; cable and DSL modems and residential gateways; high-speed transmission and switching for local, metropolitan, wide area and storage networking; home and wireless networking; cellular and terrestrial wireless communications; Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway and telephony systems; broadband network processors; and SystemI/OTM server solutions. These technologies and products support our core mission: Connecting everything®.

Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at

Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, and SystemI/OTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Windows® is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

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