In the rush to virtualized network applications using software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) the importance of multicore processors and packet processing is often missed. Multicore processors are used in many networking systems including routers, switches, network appliances and server-based platforms used to support virtual network functions (VNFs). Multicore processors, including integrated multicore processors, network processors, general-purpose processors and communications processors, provide significant flexibility and support packet processing from less than 10 Gbit/s to 400 Gbit/s or more.
This report analyzes the current and projected use of multicore processors by telecom and networking equipment manufacturers, based on the results of an exclusive worldwide survey of engineers, designers, product managers and sales/marketing personnel that work for telecom and networking system equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The responses to our survey make it clear that these devices are critical components in most types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.