Department of Computer Science and Technology

Course pages 2017–18

High performance networking

Principal lecturer: Dr Noa Zilberman
Taken by: MPhil ACS, Part III
Code: P51
Hours: 16 (6 lectures and 10 supervised laboratory sessions)
Class limit: 16 students
Prerequisites: Undergraduate courses in digital communication, good working knowledge of C/C++, ECAD, Unix.


This module provides an introduction to High Performance Networking, it explores both software and hardware aspects and provides the students an opportunity to experience high performance networking design and usage first hand.


  • Introduction to High Performance Networking
  • High throughput networking architecture, design and evaluation
  • Low latency networking architecture, design and evaluation


On completion of this module, students should:

  • Describe the role of high performance networking and where it is used;
  • Compare and contrast high throughput and low latency networking devices;
  • Define the architecture of a high performance networking device;
  • Implement a fully functioning high performance networking device;
  • Evaluate the performance of a high performance networking device.

Practical work

Five 2-hour in-classroom labs will ask students to develop and use skills learned in the course and apply them to the design of a high performance device.

The first lab will provide an introduction to a development platform, while the remaining labs will focus on a specific design project (starting from a reference design). Time will be allocated for different design stages (architecture, design and validation). Students may find it useful to work in groups or 2 or 3 within the lab, and the project can be extended in any relevant direction. Instructors will be on-hand throughout labs to provide guidance.

Lab participation is not directly included in the final mark, but lab work is a key input to a project that is assessed.


Assessed practical work, based on 1 practical assignment (including: project submission and its documentation);