Barefoot Networks gave details about their programmable Tofino chip for switches at Networking Field Day. Keith Townsend gave the presentation videos a look, and thinks they could have a big impact on the networking space. The immediate value is that the programmability should allow for new services to be integrated into switches on a much tighter release window. But more importantly, whitebox vendors could customize switches to individual clients, with hyperscale deployments like Facebook only need a very specific subset of functions to prioritize on performance. And unlike programmable x86 processors in switches, there’s no sacrifice in performance, with Barefoot claiming Tofino can manage 6.5 Tbps.