High-Level Portable Programming Language for Optimized Memory Use of Network Processors


Network processors (NPs) are widely used for programmable and high-performance networks; however, the programs for NPs are less portable, the number of NP program developers is small, and the development cost is high. To solve these problems, this paper proposes an open, high-level, and portable programming language called “Phonepl”, which is independent from vendor-specific proprietary hardware and software but can be translated into an NP program with high performance especially in the memory use. A common NP hardware feature is that a whole packet is stored in DRAM, but the header is cached in SRAM. Phonepl has a hardware-independent abstraction of this feature so that it allows programmers mostly unconscious of this hardware feature. To implement the abstraction, four representations of packet data type that cover all the packet operations (including substring, concatenation, input, and output) are introduced. Phonepl have been implemented on Octeon NPs used in plug-ins for a network-virtualization environment called the VNode Infrastructure, and several packet-handling programs were evaluated. As for the evaluation result, the conversion throughput is close to the wire rate, i.e., 10 Gbps, and no packet loss (by cache miss) occurs when the packet size is 256 bytes or larger.

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Kanada, Y. (2015) High-Level Portable Programming Language for Optimized Memory Use of Network Processors. Communications and Network, 7, 55-69. doi: 10.4236/cn.2015.71006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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