A method and apparatus for segmenting and forwarding data packets received in a communication switch is presented. The method begins by receiving a packet that includes a destination that determines forwarding parameters. As the packet is being received, segmentation cells are created from portions of the packet received where each segmentation cell is provided to a switching fabric as soon as creation of the segmentation cell is completed. When an end portion of the packet is received, verification of proper receipt of the packet is performed. When it is determined that the packet has been received successfully, a verification data set is generated based on segmentation cells that have been utilized to forward the packet. If it is determined that the packet has not been successfully received, a purging data set is generated instead of the verification data set.

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