Power consumption issues in future high-performance switches and routers
The underlying demand for network capacity can only be satisfied by contemporaneously increasing the transmission bit rate and the switching capacity. An increase of data transmission and processing speed unavoidable leads to high requirements on power supply. Especially in the case of high-capacity electronic routers, the question of power consumption will be the major issue and probably the most important limiting factor as routers become larger in the future. Using optical switching fabrics could relax the limitations to some extent, but optical buffers occupy larger area and dissipate more power than electronic ones. In this paper, we address power consumption issues in future high-capacity switching elements. Different technologies and switching paradigms such as electronic packet/circuit switching or optical circuit/burst/packet switching are considered. In particular, we consider four different node architectures as candidates for future high-performance network elements. These architectures are described and examined with regard to power consumption.