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HP ProCurve 5308XL-48G Supplementary Manual: N-chip

Hp procurve 5308xl-48g: supplementary guide.
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N-Chip

CPU
Table Memory
Table Memory
Memory
Input Memory
Input Memory
Subsystem
Output Memory
Output Memory
The ProCurve 5300xl Switch Series have two slots in the back for the load-sharing power
supplies. One power supply ships standard with each switch and can power a fully loaded
chassis. A second power supply can be installed for redundancy and longer overall expected
power supply life.
The ProCurve 5300xl Switch Series can hold up to 16,536 (16K) MAC addresses in the switch
address table.
N-Chip
Each module contains a full ASIC-based Layer 3 routing switch engine. This switch engine,
called the network or N-Chip, provides all the packet processing: Layer 2 and Layer 3 lookups,
filtering and forwarding decisions, VLAN, trunking and priority queuing determinations. The
N-Chip also contains its own CPU.
Classification and Lookup
When a packet first comes in, the classifier section determines the packet characteristics, its
addresses, VLAN affiliation, any priority specification, etc. The packet is stored in input memory,
lookups into the table memory are done to determine routing information and a N-Chip specific
packet header is created for this packet with this information. This header is then forwarded to
the programmable section of the N-Chip.
N-Chip Programmability
As mentioned in the previous section, one of the functions of the N-Chip is to analyze each
packet's header as it comes into the switch. The packet's addresses can be read, with the switch
making forwarding decisions based on this analysis. For example, if a packet's 802.1Q tag
needs to be changed to re-map the packet priority, the N-Chip needs to look at each packet to
see if any particular one needs to be changed. This packet-by-packet processing has to occur
very quickly to maintain overall wire-speed performance. ASICs provide this high performance,
but typically cannot be changed in their functionality once the ASIC design is frozen.
To broaden the flexibility of the N-Chip, a programmable function is included in some areas of
its packet processing. This programmability provides network processor-like capability, giving
the PROCURVE designers the opportunity to make some future changes or additions in the
packet processing features of the ASIC by downloading new software into it. Thus new features
needing high performance ASIC processing can be accommodated, extending the useful life of
the switch without the need to upgrade or replace the hardware.
F-Chip
CPU Interface
Management
CPU
Cross Bar Fabric
Subsystem
Fabric Buffer
9.6 Gbps
backplane link
8 Fabric Ports
Fabric Interface
Programmable
Look-up
Classifier
24 10/100 MACs
4 GbE MACs
...
Figure 1. Detailed Architecture
Fabric Interface
CPU
Table Memory
Table Memory
Memory
Input Memory
Input Memory
Subsystem
Output Memory
Output Memory
N-Chip
Programmable
Look-up
Classifier
24 10/100 MACs
4 GbE MACs
6

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