Archive Index (1999-2012) | 2013-current at | About  

Linux, microcode speed PowerQUICC IP routing, NAT by 10x

Sep 28, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Arabella is shipping microcode for Freescale NPUs (network processing units) that it claims speeds IP routing and NAT (network address translation) by a factor of ten, when used with its asymmetrical multiprocessing (AMP) Linux implementation. Expedited Fast Path (EFP) microcode supports PowerQUICC II chips and older NPUs with CPMs (communications processor modules).

The idea behind EFP is to use an asymmetrical multiprocessing operating system such as Arabella's customized Linux distribution to route time-critical operations to on-chip packet-processing engines preloaded with microcode that optimizes them for specific functions. In addition to IP routing and NAT, the company offers EFP microcode for IPSec. Arabella recently demonstrated its EFP product at a Freescale event in Orlando in June.

According to Arabella, PowerQUICC II processors running EFP microcode under AMP Linux can perform IP routing and NAT on 400K packets per second, with “worst-case 64KB packet sizes,” compared with typical PowerQUICC II throughputs of 40K packets per second.

VP of Sales Bruce Donadt said, “Since all performance-critical functionality is done in microcode, the end user can know before choosing the processor, operating system, and protocol stacks what performance will be achieved. Such predictability is not possible in all-software stacks.”


Arabella's EFP IP routing and NAT products are available now, under royalty-free licenses that start at $30,000 per product. Less expensive royalty-free annual subscription licenses are also available.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.