Disclosed is a node loop port core for use in a Fibre Channel high speed data system for implementing transmission protocol and loop arbitration. The node loop core converts incoming data from 10 bit format to 8 bit format, checks frame CRC, parses frames, and steers the results to any one of a number of buffers. The buffers function as loading areas for incoming frames and are not part of NL core. In transmit operation, the node loop core chooses a loaded buffer to service, assembles frames, generates and adds CRC to frames, encodes the result from 8 bit to 10 bit format and then transfers the results. All control functions associated with primitive signals and sequences are handled by the node loop core. The core follows established Fibre Channel arbitration rules and recognizes all necessary primitive signals and primitive sequences for proper operation of the arbitrated loop.