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Created: May 19, 2004.
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XML Silicon: The Tarari Random Access XML (RAX) Content Processor.

Tarari Inc. recently announced the availability of its RAX Content Processor which can "easily process millions of XPaths per second." The Random Access XML Content Processor solution was demonstrated at the NetWorld+Interop Las Vegas 2004 event, and represents the latest technology achievement in hardware-accelerated XML processing.

Tarari's purpose-built silicon for XML processing is enabled by a core technology called a Simultaneous XPath engine which "produces results directly from the input XML document, whereas DOM or SAX-based systems need to create an in-memory representation of the document."

According to personal communication and a white paper authored by Michael Leventhal, Simultaneous XPath "is vastly faster than any software-based XPath engines (e.g., Saxon, Xalan, libxml) because its performance is insensitive to the number of XPaths in an evaluation group and the complexity of the XPath expressions. Simultaneous XPath handles XML namespaces and namespace prefixing on the fly without pre-scanning and declaration of prefixes; its execution time increases linearly with the file size, without any performance degradation and without memory thrashing."

Random Access XML (RAX) "represents a breakthrough in accelerating and simplifying XML processing. Using XPaths as indices, RAX gives applications direct access to any data within an XML message without parsing and without tree or streaming traversal. RAX can be used for any XML application that would traditionally be handled by DOM, SAX, JAXB, BEA's XMLBeans, or any other approach. It enables network switch, server, blade, and appliance vendors to create a variety of new applications such as gigabit message classification and routing, high transaction rate publish and subscribe systems, advanced SOAP message processing, high performance XML security firewalls and real-time telecommunications billing solutions."

The Tarari RAX Content Processor hardware device "sits on a 4.2Gbps PCI bus, communicating with main memory through multiple and interleaved DMA channels; this standard PCI card into servers, appliances, and network devices to allow control and inspection of complete messages. The complete Tarari technology solution includes acceleration of XML security, XML compression, and Unicode character conversion."

Tarari participated in W3C's September 2003 Binary XML Workshop, and is currently studying how to propose RAX as an industry standard.

Bibliographic Information

Overview: Random Access XML (RAX) Content Processor

"RAX provides direct access to the data your application needs with near-zero parsing and other processing overhead. You identify the data you need through a set of XPaths and RAX indices into the source document for each matched XPath node. The processing that accomplishes this is done by Tarari's RAX Content Processor, a device which snaps into the server or appliance's standard PCI slot. Not only is the Tarari XML hardware much faster than software, but it also leaves the CPU free for other tasks. Your XML application can use the XPath node results directly or further traverse the document using the XPath indices as short-cut access points.

The Tarari RAX Content Processor offers Java and C Language APIs for Random Access XML, Simultaneous XPath, SOAP Processing, Streaming XML Transformation, and SSL and XML Security — RSA, 3DES, SHA1, RNG with JCE/JSEE and Open SSL integration.

The Tarari RAX Content Processor resides on a plug and play PCI card which snaps into networking equipment, servers and appliances, and is configured with W3C standards-based XPath expressions, and offers a full API for complex message filtering and transformation.

OEMs and ISVs can immediately implement powerful XML-based solutions that work at gigabit speeds by simply upgrading existing equipment with Tarari's PCI-based processor; future designs can also take advantage of Tarari's single piece of silicon..." [excerpted from the White Paper and Product Brief]

About the Tarari Processing Platform

"The Tarari Processing Platform improves the overall performance of applications by accelerating compute-intensive algorithms.

A key to capitalizing on major opportunities is the ability to inspect message content at very high rates of speed. Tarari was created to fill the need for high speed acceleration processing for Network Security, XML Web Services and High Performance Computing areas. Tarari will initially bring products to market based on a PCI form factor. This enables the market with greater control over managing and processing content and the ability to achieve near wire speed.

All Tarari Processors are based on dynamically reconfigurable hardware that targets specific compute-intensive tasks, and decreases the processing time required to perform those operations. The Tarari Processors reconfigure dynamically, which means that algorithms being accelerated can be matched to application requirements at any time. The Processors improve the overall performance of applications by accelerating compute-intensive algorithms. This is because the Tarari Processors excel at parallel processing, especially when the number of operations per byte of data is high. When multiple computational operations must occur on each byte of data, the Tarari Processors can be optimized to perform these operations in parallel.

Tarari Processors provides dynamic reconfiguration control, integrates of all on-board and host interfaces, and interfaces to core processing engines. Within the Tarari Processors, multiple applications or agents can be run simultaneously and quickly delivers data from the PCI bus or on-board 256 MBps of DDR memory. The Tarari Processors also have their own local ZBT SSRAM* (Zero Bus Turnaround Synchronous Static Random Access Memory) for very high-speed data access. The combination of all these components provides the Tarari Processor with the ability to accelerate compute-intensive content processing algorithms. With the use of the high-bandwidth building block, Tarari can deliver content processing at wire speeds or accelerate high performance computing tasks..." [from the product overview]

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