• United States
Senior Editor

The Network Processing Forum

Aug 20, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

* The NPF IPv4 Unicast Forwarding Services API Implementation Agreement

Since it’s inception in March 2001 the Network Processing Forum has moved to accelerate the development of advanced network processor-based network and telecommunications gear.

The group – which includes over 30 vendors such as IBM and Intel – has a number of long-term goals, among them to set common network processing hardware and software interface specifications as well as set objective performance benchmarks.

To this end, NPF recently released the NPF IPv4 Unicast Forwarding Services API Implementation Agreement. According to our Technology Update authors ( and the specification details a set of open, implementation-neutral APIs that a network protocol stack or control plane software can use to manage IPv4 forwarding functions in network processing hardware and software.

Our authors say prior to the IPv4 Unicast Forwarding Services API, the APIs that enabled communications between control plane elements and forwarding plane technologies were proprietary. That meant silicon manufacturers had to set up relationships with individual network stack vendors to create appropriate interfaces. As the number of network protocols, hardware vendors and software vendors increased, the software libraries needed to maintain these interfaces became costly and unwieldy. The IPv4 Services API Implementation Agreement establishes standard APIs so all these components can easily interoperate.

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