[P4-dev] General question on P4

Michael Borokhovich michaelbor at gmail.com
Thu Apr 6 13:56:19 EDT 2017

Thanks for the reply Nate!

So, to summarize, the benefits of P4 approach are: portability and
performance. Other than that you probably can achieve the same (if not
better) flexibility/programmability with an NPU. Is this correct?

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 1:01 AM, Nate Foster <jnfoster at cs.cornell.edu> wrote:

> Your question seems to be more about the relative merits of various
> architectures than the P4 language. But yes an ASIC is generally more
> efficient than an NPU, at least at scale.
> Beyond efficiency there are other benefits to expressing a data plane
> algorithm in an open framework like P4. For example, a P4 programs should
> be relatively easy to port to a different target. The same is unlikely to
> be true for C programs written against closed SDKs.
> -N
> On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 6:59 PM, Michael Borokhovich <michaelbor at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> P4 allows for configurable data-plane, e.g., we can easily support new
>> custom protocols. However, the same functionality may be achieved by using
>> a network processor, e.g., EZchip (the one I had experience with).
>> As I understand, the advantages of programmable ASIC/FPGA that supports
>> P4 is better performance and a lower price than a network processor?
>> What do you think?
>> Thanks!
>> Michael.
>> _______________________________________________
>> P4-dev mailing list
>> P4-dev at lists.p4.org
>> http://lists.p4.org/mailman/listinfo/p4-dev_lists.p4.org
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