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The iSLIP scheduling algorithm for input-queued switches

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1 Author(s)
McKeown, N. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Stanford Univ., CA, USA

An increasing number of high performance internetworking protocol routers, LAN and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) switches use a switched backplane based on a crossbar switch. Most often, these systems use input queues to hold packets waiting to traverse the switching fabric. It is well known that if simple first in first out (FIFO) input queues are used to hold packets then, even under benign conditions, head-of-line (HOL) blocking limits the achievable bandwidth to approximately 58.6% of the maximum. HOL blocking can be overcome by the use of virtual output queueing, which is described in this paper. A scheduling algorithm is used to configure the crossbar switch, deciding the order in which packets will be served. Previous results have shown that with a suitable scheduling algorithm, 100% throughput can be achieved. In this paper, we present a scheduling algorithm called iSLIP. An iterative, round-robin algorithm, iSLIP can achieve 100% throughput for uniform traffic, yet is simple to implement in hardware. Iterative and noniterative versions of the algorithms are presented, along with modified versions for prioritized traffic. Simulation results are presented to indicate the performance of iSLIP under benign and bursty traffic conditions. Prototype and commercial implementations of iSLIP exist in systems with aggregate bandwidths ranging from 50 to 500 Gb/s. When the traffic is nonuniform, iSLIP quickly adapts to a fair scheduling policy that is guaranteed never to starve an input queue. Finally, we describe the implementation complexity of iSLIP. Based on a two-dimensional (2-D) array of priority encoders, single-chip schedulers have been built supporting up to 32 ports, and making approximately 100 million scheduling decisions per second

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Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 2 )