Apparatus and methods for modifying the address field of a packet are disclosed. The apparatus preferably includes an HDLC controller which finds the start of the packet and generates a signal indicative of the same, a sequence controller which receives the signal from the HDLC controller and controls the apparatus in response thereto, an address decoder receives the address field bytes from the HDLC controller and decodes them to provide a DLCI code therefrom, a RAM which is programmed as a DLCI translation table with outgoing DLCI codes being located at addresses which equate to the incoming DLCI codes, an address encoder which receives the outgoing DLCI code from the RAM and generates therefrom outgoing address field bytes, and a FIFO for storing the outgoing address field bytes until output is possible. Bytes received by the HDLC controller during the modification of the packet header are stored by the HDLC controller until the outgoing address field bytes are received at the FIFO. The stored bytes are then also forwarded to the FIFO, and thereafter, incoming data can be forwarded directly to the FIFO. The provided apparatus for modifying the address field of a packet introduces a minimum of delay into the packet transfer and reduces the amount of data storage required to effect the address field modification.
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