Most FortiGate models have specialized acceleration hardware, (called Security Processing Units (SPUs)) that can offload resource intensive processing from main processing (CPU) resources. Most FortiGate units include specialized content processors (CPs) that accelerate a wide range of important security processes such as virus scanning, attack detection, encryption and decryption. (Only selected entry-level FortiGate models do not include a CP processor.) Many FortiGate models also contain security processors (SPs) that accelerate processing for specific security features such as IPS and network processors (NPs) that offload processing of high volume network traffic.
This document describes the Security Processing Unit (SPU) hardware that Fortinet builds into FortiGate devices to accelerate traffic through FortiGate units. Three types of SPUs are described:
- Content processors (CPs) that accelerate a wide range of security functions
- Security processors (SPs) that accelerate specific security functions
- Network processors (NPs and NPlites) that offload network traffic to specialized hardware that is optimized to provide high levels of network throughput.