Traffic generation is essential in the processes of testing and developing new network elements, such as equipment, protocols and applications, regarding both the production and research area. Traditionally, two approaches have been followed for this purpose: the first is based on software applications that can be executed on inexpensive Personal Computers, while the second relies on dedicated hardware. Obviously, performance in the latter case (in terms of sustainable rates, precision in delays and jitters) outclasses that in the former, but also the costs usually grow of some order of magnitude. In this paper we describe a software IP traffic generator based on a hardware architecture specialized for packet processing (known as Network Processor), which we have developed and tested. Our approach is positioned between the two different philosophies listed above: it has a software (and then flexible) implementation running on a specific hardware only slightly more expensive than PCs.