Fast ping-pong arbitration for input-output queued packet switches

H. Jonathan Chao, Cheuk H. Lam, Xiaolei Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Input-output queued switches have been widely considered as the most feasible solution for large capacity packet switches and IP routers. In this paper, we propose a ping-pong arbitration scheme (PPA) for output contention resolution in input-output queued switches. The challenge is to develop a high speed and cost-effective arbitration scheme in order to maximize the switch throughput and delay performance for supporting multimedia services with various quality-of-service (QoS) requirements. The basic idea is to divide the inputs into groups and apply arbitration recursively. Our recursive arbiter is hierarchically structured, consisting of multiple small-size arbiters at each layer. The arbitration time of an n-input switch is proportional to log4[n/2] when we group every two inputs or every two input groups at each layer. We present a 256 × 256 terabit crossbar multicast packet switch using the PPA. The design shows that our scheme can reduce the arbitration time of the 256 × 256 switch to 11 gates delay, demonstrating the arbitration is no longer the bottleneck limiting the switch capacity. The priority handling in arbitration is also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-678
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Communication Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2001


  • Arbitration
  • Crossbar
  • Input-output queued switch
  • Packet switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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