TCP Offload Engine

TCP offload engine or TOE is a technology used in network interface cards (NIC) to offload processing of the entire TCP/IP stack to the network controller. It is primarily used with high-speed network interfaces, such as gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, where processing overhead of the network stack becomes significant.

The term, TOE, is often used to refer to the NIC itself, although circuit board engineers may use it to refer only to the integrated circuit included on the card which processes the TCP headers. TOEs are often suggested as a way to reduce the overhead associated with IP storage protocols such as iSCSI and NFS.

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