With the capacity requirements of telecom networks ever increasing, there are two trends to allow higher system throughput: (1) Offloading the communications processing from the host to the NIC, and (2) the transition from PCI to PCI Express. Offloading the communications processing from the system host allows the system to operate with more efficiency and hence increased traffic capacity. Because of its performance scalability and protocol advances, PCIe-based systems are faster and more reliable than their PCI-based counterparts.