Chapter 16

Switch Fabric

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.

Marie Curie


A switch fabric is a core component of any router that provides a physical path between the ingress linecard and the egress linecard. In this chapter, we present different types of backplanes that facilitate the movement of packets from one linecard to another linecard in a router. At a very high level, such switches can be broadly categorized as shared backplanes or switched backplanes. In a switched backplane, we consider single stage fabrics – shared memory and crossbar. We cover the scheduling algorithms for crossbar such as take-a-ticket, PIM, and iSLIP and analyze their pros and cons. We then discuss ...

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