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Programmable packet processors have replaced traditional fixed-function custom logic in the data path of routers. Programmability of these systems allows the introduction of new packet processing functions, which is essential for today's Internet as well as for next-generation network architectures. Software development for many existing implementations of these network processors requires a deep understanding of the architecture and careful resource management by the software developer. Resource management that is tied to application development makes it difficult for packet processors to adapt to changes in the workload that are based on traffic conditions and the deployment of new functionality.
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