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EEMBC Develops Networking Benchmark Techniques

EEMBC is hoping to have a bigger impact on the networking design process with the release of version 2.0 of its networking benchmarking specifications.

EEMBC, which is best known for its processor benchmarks, has offered a basic networking benchmark for some time that performed basic packet checking operations, said Marcus Levy, president and founder of EEMBC. Now, after gaining quite a bit of interest, EEMBC has added a host of new benchmarks that will allow designers to evaluate quality of service (QoS), network address translation (NAT), TCP, and IP performance in networking designs.

"The new version provides more real-world benchmarks," Levy said. "These benchmarks are built on actual algorithms defined by the International Engineering Task Force (IETF)."

The new benchmarks include a QoS benchmark, a NAT benchmark, an open shortest path first (OSPF) benchmark, and an IP packet check benchmark. The QoS benchmark simulates the processing undertaken by bandwidth management software used to shape traffic flows to meet QoS requirements. The system paces the delivery of the packets to the desired speed, based on a set of predefined rules. This shaping is achieved via the use of a variant of the weighted fair queuing (WFQ) algorithm. Random Early Detection (RED) queue management is also supported to provide flow control.

The OSPF benchmark implements the Dijkstra shortest path first algorithm. This algorithm finds the shortest path from a router to all other routers. Instead of building a predefined route, which is typically done in an OSPF system, EEMBC's benchmark builds the routing tables dynamically. The benchmark then repeatedly walks the list that is used to hold the nodes. Consequently, a processor's load-use latency and its ability to handle frequent control transfer instructions (CTI) operations are measured by the benchmark.

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