Electronic Design

Content Processor Takes On Multiple Algorithms

With its nine onboard engines, Tarari's T9000 content processor delivers multigigabit throughputs (Fig. 1). Each of these engines has been optimized to implement one of the more CPU-intensive algorithms found in the enterprise network.

The T9000 handles any applications that need to scan, parse, or filter data. These include content-based routing and switching, application firewalls and security gateways, Web acceleration, content filtering, and anti-virus tools. As a result, it can perform network security functions and XML processing on a single chip.

Also, the T9000 works in conjunction with control processors from Broadcom, Intel, Raza Microelectronics, and other companies. Tarari developed the application-software stacks that tune the T9000 for each of the host CPUs as well. The combination of the chip and the software stack reduces development time and speeds time-to-market.

By accelerating and offloading the CPU-intensive algorithms onto dedicated agent engines, the T9000 can significantly improve performance while reducing system complexity and power consumption through integration. Typically, it consumes just 5 W.

Dedicated acceleration engines on the T9000 include dual grammar-processing agents for XML and other protocols. Also on the chip are dual regular expression (RegEx) agents, a compression agent for Zip/Gzip/PKZip, a decompression agent for Zip/Gzip/PKZip, and a UTF8 to UTF16 character-conversion agent. Additional engines target RSA modular exponentiation,encryption/decryption (DES/3DES), SHA-1 Hashing for signature calculations, and true random number generation (Fig. 2).

To accommodate less demanding system requirements, Tarari will implement a scaled-down version of the T9000 with just a single grammar processor and a single RegEx agent. For higher-performance needs, designers can tie in two additional T9000s for applications that demand higher throughput levels than a single processor can deliver. Or, the T9000 can control external ASIC or FPGA-based content processing engines.

The top-of-the-line version of the processor can simultaneously evaluate up to 50,000 POSIX 1003.2 RegEx expressions at up to 3.2 Gbits/s. It also can simultaneously evaluate XML documents at up to 2.5 Gbits/ and compress, decompress, encrypt, and decrypt data at up to 1 Gbit/s. Using multiple T9000 chips in a system can scale performance to 10 Gbits/s.

The T9000 supports a 64-bit PCI-X host bus interface that transfers data at up to 8 Gbits/s, dual zero-bus-turnaround memories or quad-data-rate SRAMs, and up to 2 Gbytes of external double-data-rate DRAM. Additionally, it supports the 32- and 64-bit versions of Linux as well as the Microsoft Windows XP operating systems. Driver source code is available to aid porting to other operating systems.

Samples of the T9000 will be available in late March or April. In production quantities, it will cost between $300 and $400 apiece. The T9000 development kit includes one T9000 development board with PCI-X host interface, Agent APU libraries, and demonstration application source code. The kit costs $9995.

Tarari Inc.

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