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The vantage points of routers along end-to-end paths in the Internet have long made them a compelling target for additional functionality. In this paper, the authors describe a new method for router data plane programmability that is simple, general, flexible and safe and enables complex network services to be built and deployed. Their method targets Network Processor (NP)- and FPGA-based routers, and is based on two central ideas: primitive functions for routers that are designed for specific target service domains, and a primitive-aware programming language that is expressive, easy to use and easy to analyze.
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