A New Architecture for Switch and Router Design

This white paper is about the architecture of large ATM switches, Frame Relay switches and IP routers used by network service providers and telecom carriers to build the core of the Internet. We will focus on the high-performance, high-availability systems that are typically located in large telecommunications switching facilities or central offices. These are the carrier-class systems, characterized today by: (i) an aggregate bandwidth of 100's of Gb/s; (ii) approximately 8-32 interfaces operating at OC-48c and OC-192c that carry frames, packet-over-SONET (POS) or ATM-over-SONET; and (iii) a system availability in excess of 99.999% (i.e. out of service less than 10 minutes per year).

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