The AL3000 hardware routing engine is said to put the intelligence of a router (Layer 3) into a standard networking switch (Layer 2). The IC is designed to increase the speed of networks by processing IP addresses in a hard-wired state machine instead of in software. It’s said to route 1.5 Mpackets/s to easily outdo alternative, software-based solutions.Included on the chip are a command interpreter, search engine, parser, memory server, two memory interfaces, six DMA channels, and a 6.4-Gb/s RoX II bus. The latter allows easy interconnection to devices such as the firm’s AL126 Fast Ethernet switch IC, which manages Fast Ethernet ports on a switch. The AL3000 also contains an interface to a low-cost CPU for performing basic routing functions off chip. With its six DMA channels, the IC supports ten full-speed, 100-Mb/s Fast Ethernet channels.