This research note covers Nokia’s new FP4 routing chip-set, with information provided at their product launch. It describes the chip, the new routers it enables, backward compatibility and the new operations methods it is designed to enable.
In particular it discusses how this chip has vastly different goals, capabilities and metrics compared to either general purpose chips (RISC, X86) and merchant routing and forwarding chips. It is optimized to perform a number of stateful inspection and stream handling tasks at line rate, and to accept large numbers of parameters against which to match and act. This is becoming increasingly important especially in the dangerous network-cyber security environment in which we now exist. While several years old the concepts remain fresh and apply equally well to the inevitable next-generation of chips from various vendors.