Something I've always wondered about TCP offload and every other kind of offload: Is it better to add CPU power to a network adapter than to add it to the motherboard? Adding it to the motherboard (faster CPU chip, more SMP CPUs) is certainly simpler, which ought to mean cheaper. Are there technological limits that make it impossible for a single SMP complex to handle all the 10 Gbps packets and all the higher level stuff too?
Sometimes, people add intelligence to the periphery of a system in order to make things more simple by allowing the central processor to remain blissfully ignorant of what's going on out there. But since TCP offload actually requires the central processor to cooperate, this doesn't fit that pattern.
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