IT managers are under increasing pressure to boost network capacity and performance to cope with the data deluge. Networking systems are under a similar form of stress with their performance degrading as new capabilities are added in software. The solution to both needs is next-generation System-on-Chip (SoC) communications processors that combine multiple cores with multiple hardware acceleration engines.
The data deluge, with its massive growth in both mobile and enterprise network traffic, is driving substantial changes in the architectures of base stations, routers, gateways, and other networking systems. To maintain high performance as traffic volume and velocity continue to grow, next-generation communications processors combine multicore processors with specialized hardware acceleration engines in SoC ICs.
The following discussion examines the role of the SoC in today’s network infrastructures, as well as how the SoC will evolve in coming years. Before doing so, it is instructive to consider some of the trends driving this need.