Abstract: A network architecture of the sort-then-expand type for routing packets including destination information is disclosed. The network includes a distribution stage comprising a plurality of input sorts units, an intermediate stage comprising a plurality of intermediate sort units and an output stage comprising a plurality of output switches. The input sort units each distribute a plurality of packets to the intermediate sort units such that each intermediate sort unit receives approximately the same number of packets destined for each output switch as the other intermediate sort units. Each intermediate sort unit identifies packet groups for a common output switch and connects the groups to the destination output switch. Each destination output switch merges the received groups of packets and distributes them to output ports.
December 21, 1988
Date of Patent:
February 6, 1990
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, AT&T Bell Laboratories
James M. Johnson, Jr., Ronald A. Spanke