Broadcom, Microsoft Offload TCP
TCP processing consumes a significant amount of the host CPU cycles and as network speed rapidly increases, the need to offload this burden from the host CPU becomes more urgent. Offload frees the host CPU for processing of applications, thus improving overall application performance. Preliminary benchmark results (using the industry standard NTTTCP benchmark) demonstrate that Broadcom's TCP offload engine (TOE), running with Microsoft's TCP Chimney software, improves CPU utilization on a current server by up to five times as compared to the same server running without a TCP offload engine. TCP/IP is the prevalent networking and communications technology of the Internet and is widely used in data centers. Hardware processing of TCP/IP also provides acceleration of the TCP/IP processing time, yielding a better response time for networked applications -- critical to the application's performance.
Broadcom's long-term development project with Microsoft reached a significant milestone today as both companies demonstrate the technology at full Gigabit wire speed at this week's Window's Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle (Booth # 118). Broadcom's implementation of the TCP Chimney is the industry's first true, single-chip Ethernet controller to provide TCP/IP offload without external memory.
"Today's demonstration is the result of our long-term collaboration with Microsoft and supports our overall vision for a converged network fabric," said Thomas Lagatta, Group Vice President of Broadcom's Enterprise Computing Group. "Our TOE demonstration illustrates that the natural progression of enterprise Ethernet controllers lies within hardware acceleration of key network protocols. Additionally, Broadcom's true, single-chip TCP offload engine ushers the way for broad adoption of TOE throughout the network, and has set a new benchmark for TCP/IP offload engine technology."
"The outstanding performance, completeness and robustness of the TCP Chimney architecture are a major success for us. This new TCP offload technology will change the way communications stacks are built for the Microsoft operating system and provides applications with an unprecedented performance boost, in many cases without modification," said Jawad Khaki, Vice President, Windows Networking & Devices, Microsoft Corporation. "Microsoft is committed to delivering this technology and the TCP Chimney serves as the foundation for several follow-up chimney architectures that will support prominent networking features such as RDMA."