Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mellanox Intros ARM-based "BlueField" Processors for Networking

Mellanox Technologies introduced a new line of "BlueField" programmable processors for networking and storage applications, including dataplane offload for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), advanced networking and security, and serving as the embedded storage controller of an array of solid state Flash drives. Sampling is expected in Q1 2017.

BlueField incorporates Mellanox ConnectX network acceleration offload technology together with an array of high-performance 64-bit ARMv8 CPU cores that leverages the Tilera coherent mesh interconnect technology from the recent acquisition of EZchip.

BlueField offers multiple Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI) 100Gbps networking ports supporting InfiniBand and Ethernet. The company's SkyMesh coherent on-chip interconnect – proven in multiple generations of Tilera processors – enables scalable performance and leading power efficiency.

Key Technical Features

  • Both Ethernet and InfiniBand support
  • Multi-rate ports supporting 10, 25, 40, 50, 56 and 100 Gb/s
  • Networking offloads including VXLAN, NVGRE, GENEVE overlay networks, RSS, TSS, HDS, LRO, LSOv2, RDMA, and RoCE
  • Low latency NVMe over Fabrics translation between PCIe and Ethernet/InfiniBand
  • High-bandwidth PCIe controllers with Gen3 and Gen4 support as well as SRIOV
  • Tiled array of ARMv8 processor cores with unified virtual memory system
  • Three-level cache hierarchy with scalable distributed hardware coherency
  • Multi-DDR4 memory controllers with ECC, supporting up to 2667MT/s
  • Integrated security acceleration for protocols including IPsec, SSL/TLS, DTLS and data-at-rest applications
  • High-performance crypto acceleration for AES, SHA, RSA, DSA, Elliptic Curve and Diffie-Hellman
  • Integrated cores leverage the vast ARM software ecosystem for development tools and pre-ported applications
  • Typical runtime environment is based on KVM/Linux and standard frameworks and applications such as DPDK, OVS, Ceph, etc.

“We have leveraged our industry-leading ConnectX technology in the BlueField SOCs to achieve unmatched networking throughput and low-latencies,” said Kevin Deierling, vice president of marketing, Mellanox. “Our ConnectX adapter technology is the industry standard for connectivity and has become pervasive throughout the industry. Now, when combined with the multicore technology from EZchip, the vision of a Software-Defined dataplane accelerator can be realized.”

Mellanox Samples its High-end Network Processor

Mellanox Technologies has begun sampling its next generation, NPS-400 network processor, which is capable of performing advanced deep packet processing for security and telecommunications applications at over 800 Gbps.

The NPS features programmable CPU cores that are highly optimized for packet processing and leverage deep packet processing and applications experience, a traffic manager, hardware accelerators for security and DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) tailored for efficiency and performance, on-chip search engines including TCAM with scaling through algorithmic extension to external low-cost low-power DRAM memory and a multitude of network interfaces providing an aggregated bandwidth of 800-Gigabits per second including 10-, 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet, Interlaken and PCI Express interfaces. It offers C‑based programming, a standard toolset, support of the Linux operating system, large code space, and a run-to-completion or pipeline programming style. Mellanox supplies a library of source code for a variety of applications.

ZTE plans to use the NPS-400 for its new line cards design for carrier-grade router platforms.

“We are pleased that the NPS network processing unit is now available and shipping to communication technology leaders such as ZTE,” said Marc Sultzbaugh, senior vice president, Mellanox Technologies. “Through the acquisition of EZchip we’ve gained tremendous expertise and advanced network processing capabilities. The NPS is a sixth generation network processor and has evolved to provide unmatched performance and flexibility that meets the needs of the most advanced data center and communications customers.”

  • Last month, Mellanox completed its acquisition of EZchip at a total purchase price of approximately $811 million (approximately $606 million net of cash).


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