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The DIR-655 router belongs to the new Xtreme N family which features the most advanced network processors. Here, the PCB carries a communications and media processor (CMP) from Ubicom’s StreamEngine 5000 series. Featuring a unique architecture, these processors are superior to similar processors with other architectures, at least in their manufacturer’s eyes. The DIR-655 comes with the junior processor model marked as IP5160 which delivers as much performance as modern processors with MIPS and ARM architectures do (according to Ubicom). The manufacturer’s website offers a document that contains a detailed performance analysis of CMPs with different architectures. Here are a couple of tables demonstrating the superiority of StreamEngine 5000 processors:

Overall performance

Routing performance

A key feature of IP51xx processors that gives them the edge in terms of performance is that they have integrated memory besides just cache. Every data packet passes through this integrated memory and is processed much faster.

The exact specifications of the IP5160 are as follows (quoted from the Ubicom website):

Feature

StreamEngine 5160

Sustained Performance
(TCP/IP Throughput)

~250+ Mbps

Number of Independent Threads

10

RAM Type

DDR1/2 16-bit-wide

External RAM

2 Gb

General I/O

PCI, PLIO, USB 2.0 (FS/HS), USB 2.0 (HS)

Ethernet (2 Ports)

10/100/1000
10/100

Networking I/O

MII (2), RMII (2), RGMII

Hardware Encryption /
Decryption, Key Management & DRM

DES/3DES, AES, SHA-1, MD5, RSA,
(RC4, ECC in SW)

Media I/O

IDE, AC97, I2 S, Utopia, MPEG TS, YUV

VoIP

G.711, G.726, G.729AB,
Line & Echo Cancellation, Multichannel

Audio Processing

MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA9

The specs are impressive indeed. The DIR-655 doesn’t make use even of half of the processor’s capabilities!

 
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