WireCAP Packet Capture Engine

Technology Summary

Network security tools, and many other types of applications, are dependent on packet capture to analyze Internet data packets. In high-speed networks, conventional software-based packet capture engines become susceptible to packet drops. Any packet drops will degrade the accuracy and integrity of these tools. There is a need for cheap lossless packet capture technology that can be used in high-speed networks.

The Invention

Fermilab has developed WireCAP: A novel packet capture engine for commodity network interface cards (NICs) in high-speed networks. WireCAP provides an effective and efficient solution to address the packet drop problem in high-speed networks by exploiting multi-queue NICs and multi-core architecture. WireCAP makes use of two new and unique mechanisms: an innovative buffering mechanism that eliminates packet loss due to overwritten NIC ring buffers; and an algorithm-based offload mechanism that optimizes traffic redistribution from overloaded network cores. WireCAP also implements a packet transmit function that allows captured packets to be forwarded, potentially after being modified or inspected in flight, thus enabling use by network traffic middlebox applications.


  • Less expensive approach to implementing packet capture tools than customized hardware approaches
  • Can be used to support firewall or intrusion detection systems

Applications and Industries

  • High-speed network application
  • Firewall Security
  • Computing Industry


Category: Computers & Information Science

Tags and keywords: Packet Capture, NIC, Network Interface Card, Lossless


Invention Details

Patent Status: Patented

Aaron G Sauers, CLP
Fermilab, MS 312- PO Box 500
Batavia, IL 60510