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Network Processors : Architectures, Protocols and Platforms (Telecom Engineering) Hardcover – July 28, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0071409865 ISBN-10: 0071409866 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Telecom Engineering
  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (July 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071409866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071409865
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Written with insight by a leading telecommunications chip industry veteran, Network Processor: Architectures, Protocols, and Platforms delivers an eye-opening "whole picture" look at the revolution in high-speed network equipment and provides a unique top-to-bottom review of more than 20 network processing platforms (including NP chips and coprocessors). With Network Processors, you will:

* Get a clear detailed look at all NPs commercially available through mid-2003
* Learn how and why NP architectures differ from classical CPUs
* Plan for a new generation of chips used in routers and switches
* Understand the specific design trade-offs entailed by each new NP
* Understand how to evaluate platforms and architectures while being cognizant of inevitable market forces affecting NP vendors
* Understand and prepare for the issues associated with rapidly developing reusable networking software for these new processors
* Save time with a handy down-to-earth reference that, unlike other books on the subject, does not limit itself to only one company's approach or engage in abstract scholarly discussions that are not useful for an engineer's or manager's everyday reality
* Get wide view coverage of this new technology followed by directions for deeper, more specialized implementation based on your own needs

* Why Network Processors?
* IBM PowerNP(tm) Architecture
* Intel IXA(tm) Architecture
* AMCC nP(tm) Family of Network Processors
* Agere PayloadPlus(R) Family of Network Processors
* Motorola C-Port(R) Family of Network Processors
* Other NPU Architectures
* Alternatives to NPUs: Net ASICs & Designing with IP Cores
* Switch Fabrics
* Searcg Engines and Content-Addressable Memory (CAM)
* Classification Processors
* Traffic Managers
* Storage Coprocessors and TCP Offload Engines
* Security Coprocessors
* Systems Engineering and Software Development Issues

* Hardware engineers who develop networking equipment
* Softwre engineers who code network software
* Communications chip designers
* Systems Architects or integrators
* Managers who need the facts
* Consultants

About the Author

Panos Lekkas has been intensely active in the industry for more than 20 years and is currently the Founder and President of Xstream Technologies LLC in Boston, Massachusetts. Lekkas is involved in advanced technology and business development in the areas of network processing, broadband optical and RF wireless communications security, and neural computing. Lekkas is known for his expert technology advisory role for both government and leading hi-tech companies, as well as for top-of-the-line investment banks and venture capital companies. His combined experience in both technology and business development worldwide has been applied to projects involving introduction of new technologies, performing due diligence process and technology evaluation for clients, as well as conducting valuation and sale of companies and technology assets to prospective corporate acquirers. His company has also been developing a series of patents and intellectural property that it licenses and it also provides turnkey solutions in projects involving communications systems analysis/simulation/development, VLSI/SOC architecture design, FPGA prototyping, and development of embedded software.

Lekkas started his career as a VLSI engineer with Silvar-Lisco and he rose to supervise the company's European applications engineering group. He joined IBM in the early 1980s. Among several positions he was Leading Architect & Systems Engineer in Austin, Texas, in charge of processor and memory management architecture and he has been instrumental in IBM's successful worldwide introduction of the RISC architecture, which ultimately evolved to become the heart of the renown IBM RS/6000 supercomputers. Lekkas has held several positions in advanced technology development and technical marketing management with IBM in both the United States and Europe.

After he left IBM and before starting Xstream Technologies, Lekkas has held positions as CTO & Technology Division General Manager of THLC in Marlboro, Mass., a fabless semiconductor company in the area of high-speed communications security where he built the engineering division by a series of mergers and acquisitions while hands-on leading the development of the company's highly complex ASIC product in collaboration with IBM Microelectronics; Co-Founder, President/CEO of Inc., a Burlington, Mass. fabless semiconductor company where he invented and started developing a patented streaming communications security technology that culminated to a multimillion dollar IPO; VP Engineering at ACI, a Hudson, Mass. fabless semiconductor company designing advanced communications ASICs; Director of Business Development with TCC, in Concord, Mass. where he further built and supervised the in-house cryptography team, participating in industry-standards bodies, and having led the product definition for systems destined for military and intelligence communications including link- and protocol-sensitive encryptors for the industry; Director of International Technical Sales & Applications Engineering with Galileo Corp. where he pioneered the introduction of their WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) and praseodymium-doped-fluoride fiber telecom amplifier communications technology and where he increased by 10 times the Japanese business of the company within two years. At Galileo he had the establishment of the company's electro-optics technologies as a de facto standard worldwide in the fields of lithography, scanning electron microscopy, and surface analysis for semiconductor equipment manufacturers and he was instrumental in the effort to diversify the fiberoptics-based coherent-imaging business division from heads-up avionics displays to medical markets that revolutionalized the ways minimally invasive surgery is conducted. Before that, Lekkas had also set up and run successfully with full P&L responsibility Galileo's European branch working closely with manufacturers of image intensifier tubes (military night-vision), large scientific/analytic instrumentation, and medical imaging systems, as well as with particle accelerator labs, space agencies and nuclear weapons labs of friendly countries.

Lekkas has done his graduate research in quantum electronics at Rice University, in Houston, TX where he was a student of Nobel-laureate Professor Robert Curl. He has two graduate degrees in electrical engineering, one specialized in VLSI and semiconductor technology, and one on wireless communications with emphasis on RF microelectronics and microwave antennas. He has done his MBA work in Corporate Finance at the (KUL) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Belgium and he is a Professional Engineer in the European Union. Lekkas has invented and authored several US and foreign patents in the areas of communications transmission, coding, and security and he is a member of the IEEE, of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

Together with now George Washington University's Professor Randall Nichols who was a key member of one of his previous R&D teams, Lekkas has coauthored another major textbook titled Wireless Security, which was published worldwide by McGraw-Hill in December 2001. It contains a foreword written by Admiral Michael McConnell, former DIRNSA (head of the U.S. National Security Agency.)

Lekkas has worked extensively in N. Europe, Japan, Middle East and Latin America and he can fluently speak and write in more than a dozen of European, Asian and Middle Eastern languages.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on April 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read 'Network Processors' to learn more about this relatively new technology that is changing the way network security appliances are designed and deployed. Panos Lekkas' work seemed like the only book available that presented a broad, multi-vendor sweep of the network processor landscape. While the book has plenty of information to offer, I found it did not really live up to my expectations.

Network processors are specialized computing chips built for high performance packet processing applications. I hoped 'Network Processors' would spend a good amount of time making the case for this technology, explaining why NPs are indispensable compared to general purpose CPUs. Unfortunately, I felt the book did not make a compelling case. Chapter 2, titled 'Network Processors: Justification,' is only 10 pages, with a single chart graphing bandwidth demand vs time. I would have liked to see head-to-head comparisons of NPs against CPUs for various network applications. The book spends a lot of time discussing technologies and concepts at the periphery of NPs; I think some of that space could have been put to better use.

Here is an example of why I felt let down by this book. In the preface, the author seems to assure the reader that he will answer questions others tend to ignore. On p. xix the author writes 'In numerous industry discussions, I have encountered experienced software engineers who have implemented cutting-edge protocols, but have no idea what concepts such as scheduling, backpressure, switching fabrics, and classification mean.' To be fair, the author does explain switching fabrics and classification. However, he says almost nothing about backpressure, and he certainly never explicitly defines it; the only mention is on p. 274.
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By Kaiser on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Knowing traditional CPU architectures and their limitations and being confronted with the need to understand how one can tackle numerous network communication protocols in real time under gigabits per seconds data rates, I picked up this book as the only one (to my knowledge) available, which did not seem devoted to esoteric & narrow research of issues. It seemed like a book, which would explain to me the whole landscape of what is needed to make fast equipment work, in other words the big picture. I was completely and positively astounded at the sheer breadth and depth of information that this book conveys. Maybe a better title should be "network processing chips" as it discusses much more than network processors and rigthfully so. The book covers all the necessary components one needs to put together next to a network processor as a big jigsaw puzzle in order to build a powerful working system, e.g. things like switch fabrics, traffic managers, content addressable memory, security coprocessors, etc. The style is flowing and engaging and the structure is very modular so one can go back and forth delving into one's areas of interest. The book can be read either from cover to cover or as a reference. Its binding makes the book even more of a pleasure to use. One must of course be able to understand some basics in order to be able to grasp the content as it may not be "bedtime" reading for some readers; it is fair however to say that after reading it one should have an infinitely better appreciation of how fast routers, wireless switches, etc. have to be logically structured and designed in order to be able to handle all of the quality-of-service-sensitive multimedia traffic they are more and more seeing.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A shallow attempt and dubious compendium of industry white-papers,,,perhaps an
honest effort nonetheless but done far too early to properly cover or detail the
important facts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every reader buys a book with different expectations and therefore I respect the points made by several other reviewers. For me however, this is one of the best books I've come across in the last decade. I've written two books myself and so I can be reasonably critical. At the same time, everyone has their unique preferences. For mine, this book is tremendous. The author clearly poured his heart into it-- it is one of the most comprehensive books on any subject I've come across. Several things make this book unique. First, the author provides his real perspectives and true opinions on network processors, vendors, approaches, what works, and what doesn't. His years of experience are reflected in the book. He also comments on the industry. He does these things without any pretense of political correctness-- he says it like he sees it. You'll also find him providing his views on deeper technical subjects. He's also perfectly happy to provide those views without giving you a treatise on everyone of the topics he comments on. I like that. He clearly set his sights on giving you as much information as he could in one book. Others may prefer more of a straight textbook like buildup of the material with no change from that theme and coverage only of topics that are built-up from scratch. There is however a large amount of buildup in the book, I just didn't buy it strictly for that. The book covers so much ground that in the 400+ pages the publisher had to reduce the font to keep the book size down. The book not only comments on particular example vendor implementations but also looks at architectural topics. He for example talks about the issues associated with software development environments and the economic tradeoffs an NPU vendor makes in investing in sample code versus a true software development environment. He covers deeper topics such as classification and also includes a chapter on security processors.
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