Killer NIC


Killer NIC

The Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC (Network Interface Card) is designed to circumvent the Microsoft Windows TCP/IP stack, and handle processing on the card via a dedicated Network Processing Unit. Most standard NIC's are host based, and make use of the primary CPU. It is claimed that the Killer NIC is capable of reducing network latency and lag. The card was first introduced in 2006.

Hardware and Models

The Killer NIC comes in 2 models; the K1 and the M1. Both models contain a Freescale PowerQUICC processor, 64 MB RAM, a single Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as a single USB 2.0 port, intended for use with specialized programs running on the cards embedded Linux operating system.

The primary difference between the models is that the M1 has a stylized metallic heat sink, and a processor running at 400 MHz, while the K1 lacks a heat sink, and runs at only 333 MHz. Currently performance differences between the cards are limited, although it is believed that future programs designed for the cards will be capable of utilizing the increased processing power of the M1.

Flexible Network Architecture

The Flexible Network Architecture is a framework used to create and run Flexible Network Applications. These applications run on the embedded Linux Operating System, and are accessed through a driver interface within the host computers OS. Aside from that, they use a very little of the computers resources, instead handling processing on the cards CPU. Bigfoot Networks has released a Software Development Kit that allows third party developers to create their own applications. Bigfoot also publishes some of their own applications; these include a firewall, torrent client, FTP application, and Telnet service that allows access to the Killer NIC's OS.

Programs that download files often use the USB port to transfer data to external storage.

References

* [http://www.killernic.com KillerNIC.com – Corporate Site]
* [http://www.killernic.com/technology/fna.aspx KillerNIC.com – Description of FNA]
* [http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2865 AnandTech: BigFoot Networks Killer NIC: Killer Marketing or Killer Product?]


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