Let's start by the most important point: yes, IP and MPLS routing operations are simple. By design, they seek efficiency, to enable supporting larger and larger traffic amounts. But current interfaces reach 100Gb/s per slot. A large router can support several dozen of 100Gb/s ports. That makes a lot of traffic! Supporting such speeds of operations is the challenge for router designers!
Let's see what current 100Gb/s interfaces imply for router hardware:
- Integrate more features on ASICs
- Complex packet parsing and deep packet header inspection
- Variety of forwarding protocols (L2, IP, MPLS, etc.)
- Current lithography techniques at 14 nanometers scale
- 100GbE interfaces
- need to read about 150 million packets per second (Mpps) in memory, i.e. read a packet in a few nanoseconds
- Provide faster communications between inbound, service, and outbound cards •Crossbar instead of buses, etc.
|litography generations (src : wikipedia)|