I can't understand what is meant by line-speed. From a networking point of view, we can say that line-speed is the number of packets transmitted in a unit of time.

I got this term from here:

link of line-speed term, the paper name is:

Software-Defined Networking: A Comprehensive Survey:

Open-source prototypes are available [31] as well as evaluation results showing the line-speed capabilities using a network processing unit (NPU)-based [451] proof of concept implementation.

Somebody, please guide me.


  • 1
    It would appear to be used in the context of bandwidth. Basically, how fast can the interface [de]serialize bits on the wire.
    – Ron Maupin
    Nov 12, 2022 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Most often, the terms "line speed" or "wire speed" refer to a device's capability to process or forward data only limited by the respective interface speeds.

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