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Local Area High Speed Networks by Dr. Sidnie Feit

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Layer 2 Switch Architecture

What happened that caused vendors to build a new generation of bridge products and invent a new name for them?

  • LANs got bigger.

  • Bandwidth needs increased.

  • Vendors got smarter.

  • Hardware got better and cheaper.

The most important hardware innovation was the introduction of low-cost application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips. The steps in a computer program(or in a group of computer programs) can be converted to hardware logic thatis etched onto an ASIC chip. The result is that the programs run a lot faster.

This actually is not a new idea. For years, there have been chips that performed specialized compute-intensive functions such as encryption or data compression. What is new is the ability to design special-purpose ...

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