Amazon.com just posted my three star review of Network Processors. Three stars? I had high hopes for this book, but was ultimately frustrated by it. From the review:
"I read Network Processors to learn more about this relatively new technology that is changing the way network security appliances are designed and deployed. Panos Lekkas' work seemed like the only book available that presented a broad, multi-vendor sweep of the network processor landscape. While the book has plenty of information to offer, I found it did not really live up to my expectations."
There's a great Focus-IDS thread here and here on next-generation detection hardware. The Network Processor Forum keeps tabs on the industry. Here's an article I should have read in 2001 about programming NPUs. Xilinx makes FPGA programmable logic devices (PLDs).