Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
A switch router is a device that combines the abilities of both switches and routers for routing data around and between networks. This device is able to forward data based on a device’s physical address, as a switch, as well as forward packets based on the location of the next hop address as a router.
Switches operate at the Data Link layer or the second layer, while routers operate at the Network layer or the third layer of the OSI Reference Model. However, switch routers perform mostly in the second layer as well as many of the layer 3 functions that routers do. While most routers perform packet switching using software running on a microprocessor, switch routers implement routing using application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC). That is a type of IC specially made for single-purpose dedicated processing, as it is only meant to do one thing, and in the case of switch routers, that is data packet routing. Unfortunately that makes them less flexible than dedicated routers.
An example of a switch router is the label switch router. This type of switch router uses labels in order to perform routing. It is found at the middle of a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network and is in charge of label switching to route the packets being carried in the network.