As LAN speeds commonly reach one gigabit/second rates servers are spending exorbitant processing power simply terminating TCP/IP and other communication protocol sessions. This requires more expensive servers just to keep up. The PEX 8516 is a highly configurable 4-port 16 lane PCI Express Switch. When used in an intelligent NIC, it can aggregate four gigabit Ethernet ports and provide connections to a local processor as well as an upstream port to the host. Strapping pins allow a wide variety of configurations including a 2 x2-lane, a 1 x4-lane, and 1 x8-lane option for these NIC architectures. The 16-lanes of bandwidth provides for full wire-speed non-blocking operation. Large packet buffers and selectable flow control allows high burst traffic without dropped packets.