Integrated multicore processors and switch chips are at the center of networking systems and general-purpose processors, designed for servers, are also widely used for packet processing. Virtual network functions (VNFs) running on server processors are replacing physical systems at both the core and edge of the network. Integrated multicore processors, with standard processor cores and hardware accelerators developed from network processors, provide cost and power efficient solutions for packet processing in virtualized networks. The use of these multicore processors is continually developing with market-place consolidation and many new processor architectures becoming available.
This report analyzes the current and projected use of multicore processors and switch chips 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.