What's New in the FreeBSD Network Stack
Actually, pps (packets per second) is a quite common if not misleading statistic spewed by networking equipment vendors, and has been for years. Packets-per-second doesn't really tell you the characteristics of the packets being sent. One interpretation might be the following:
The minimum ICMP packet size with Ethernet II encapsulation is 46 bytes. The minimum TCP packet size with Ethernet II encapsulation is 54 bytes. So, 1000000pps of 46 byte ICMP is 368 megabits/sec. And, 1000000pps of 54 byte TCP is 432 megabits/sec. Both of these figures seem realistic to me.
Now, the maximum length of an Ethernet II packet, regardless of any upper layer protocols is 1514 bytes. 1000000pps of 1514 bytes is 12.1 gigabits/sec. Obviously, that packet size isn't what they were referencing.
In respect to the link speed, a 1000Mbit or a Gigabit Ethernet link is quite common these days and the above minimum packet size stats aren't out of line.
Actually, on both OS's with a larger packet size, and thus a lower amount of packets-per-second, a decent machine with 66mhz PCI Gigabit NICs can easily route 500mb/sec through the box.