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With the advent of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), network speeds are increasing substantially, and the greater communication bandwidth provides considerable potential for distributed applications. However, communication throughput delivered to the user applications has not increased as rapidly: network interfacing has become the next bottleneck. Consequently, better designs for network interfaces are essential to take full advantage of the higher-speed communication links such as the ATM. We present a novel hardware architecture for an ATM network interface employing memory with select on-chip data processing logic; i.e., logic-enhanced memory (LEM). We exhibit how LEM-based interfaces are particularly suitable for servers, where the majority of the operations are memory-intensive processing for client requests.
Date of Conference: 6-9 Aug. 1996