Integrated multicore processors are now the heart of almost every type of networking device, enabling network system developers to support network functions in software, and to support industry developments such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). Multicore processors are highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) devices with up to 72 cores and hardware acceleration for security and low-level packet processing. Multicore processors can be programmed in C or other high-level languages and are directly supported by multicore operating systems and applications software from companies such as 6WIND, Enea and Wind River.
This report surveys high-performance multicore processors for networking applications. The report also reviews the strategy, product mix and product architectures of 15 multicore processor, intellectual property (IP) and software vendors. As such, the report provides not only granular information on the components themselves – of interest to chip manufacturers and purchasers – but also insights into how the overall market for multicore processors is likely to develop – of interest to a wide audience, including carriers and investors.