A packet scheduler includes a packet manager interface, a policer, a congestion manager, a scheduler, and a virtual output queue (VOQ) handler. The policer assigns a priority to each packet. Depending on congestion levels, the congestion manager determines whether to send a packet based on the packet's priority assigned by the policer. The scheduler schedules packets in accordance with configured rates for virtual connections and group shapers. A scheduled packet is queued at a virtual output queue (VOQ) by the VOQ handler. In one embodiment, the VOQ handler sends signals to a packet manager (through the packet manager interface) to instruct the packet manager to transmit packets in a scheduled order.
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