Patent Number: 6,295,299

Title: Data path architecture for a LAN switch

Abstract: A packet switching device having a central shared memory and a number of medium access controllers each coupled to a communications medium to exchange data packets therewith, and a controller coupled to each medium access controller via a data path to exchange data packets with the media access controller. The controller has a number of data path controllers each connected to each medium access controller via a separate and like portion of the data path to exchange a corresponding portion of the data packets with the medium access controller. The data path controllers each have a number of buffers each connected to one of the medium access controllers to which the data path controller is connected, to hold the portion of the data packets exchanged with the corresponding medium access controller. Each data path controller has a selector that selects the buffer from which to transmit or receive the portion of the data packets with the central shared memory and control logic that controls the selector to concurrently select the buffer corresponding to the same medium access controller. A comparison engine associated with each data path controller detects the slice of a field in a data packet buffered in the corresponding data path controller and computes a hashing function on the contents of the slice of the field to generate a hash key. A packet forwarding controller reads one or more entries from a hash bucket in a forwarding database indexed by the hash key and sends the entries to the comparison logic. The comparison logic compares the slice of the field in the buffer to each of the entries and returns the results of the compare to a packet forwarding controller. The forwarding controller then forwards, filters or identifies packets based on the results of the comparisons done on each slice of a field in the packets.

Inventors: Haddock; Stephen R. (Los Gatos, CA), Chueh; Justin N. (Palo Alto, CA), Parker; David K. (San Jose, CA), Schneider; Herb (San Jose, CA), Smith; R. Steven (Saratoga, CA), Swenson; Erik R. (Campbell, CA)

Assignee: Extreme Networks, Inc.

International Classification: H04L 12/56 (20060101); H04L 012/56 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018