History of Development
In modern telecommunications networks, information (voice, video, data) is now transferred as packet data (termed packet switching) rather than previously in older telecommunications networks as analog signals such as in the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or analog TV/Radio networks. The processing of these packets has resulted in the creation of integrated circuits (IC) that are optimised to deal with this form of packet data. Network Processors have specific features or architectures that are provided to enhance and optimise packet processing within these networks.
Network processors have evolved into ICs with specific functions. This evolution has resulted in more complex and more flexible ICs being created. The newer circuits are programmable and thus allow a single hardware IC design to undertake a number of different functions, where the appropriate software is installed.
Network processors are used in the manufacture of many different types of network equipment such as:
- Routers, software routers and switches
- Session Border Controllers
- Intrusion detection devices
- Intrusion prevention devices
- Network monitoring systems
Read more about this topic: Network Processor
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