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A Router Architecture for Flexible Routing and Switching in Multihop Point-To-Point Networks
January 1999 (vol. 10 no. 1)
pp. 62-75

Abstract—Modern parallel and distributed applications have a wide range of communication characteristics and performance requirements. These diverse characteristics affect the performance and suitability of particular routing and switching policies in multihop point-to-point networks. In this paper, we identify a core set of architectural features necessary for flexible selection and implementation of multiple routing and switching schemes. Using this, we present a flexible router whose routing and switching policies can be tailored to the application, allowing the network to meet these diverse needs. By dedicating a small programmable processor to each incoming link, we can implement wormhole, virtual cut-through, and packet switching, as well as hybrid switching schemes, each under a variety of unicast and multicast routing algorithms. In addition, a flexible router can support several applications or traffic types simultaneously, enabling better support of applications with multiple traffic classes. We have designed, implemented, and fabricated the Programmable Routing Controller (PRC). Cycle-level simulations of mesh-connected PRCs also demonstrate that flexible routing and switching can significantly enhance application performance.

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Index Terms:
Routers, cut-through switching, flexible routing and switching, switch architecture.
Citation:
Stuart W. Daniel, Kang G. Shin, Sang Kyun Yun, "A Router Architecture for Flexible Routing and Switching in Multihop Point-To-Point Networks," IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 62-75, Jan. 1999, doi:10.1109/71.744841
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