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Cell multiplexing is highly desirable to achieve increased transport efficiency in asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) pseudo wire emulation over a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network. However, supporting cell multiplexing can create performance bottleneck at the egress provider edge (PE) where fully programmable network processors are used to do the cell demultiplexing. In this paper, a scheme is proposed to allow a large number of cells to be demultiplexed, without having to implement special ASIC-based hardware optimized for cell demultiplexing. The idea is to configure concatenated data plane processing devices to share the cell demultiplexing task with the egress PE. Analysis shows that the use of just two processing devices is sufficient to achieve high transport efficiency. This may as well be achieved by the addition of one router without a central control card. Therefore, service providers can employ this scheme to enable cell multiplexing with limited add-on cost, while preserving the existing investment.
Date of Conference: 20-22 Oct. 2003