Mellanox Technologies is launching an open source software initiative to enable advanced open networking platforms such as routers, load balancers, and firewalls based on its network processors.
The company is releasing an open SDK for its most advanced network processor unit (NPU), the NPS-400, which delivers programmable packet processing at 600 million packets per seconds.. The Mellanox OpenNPU is made available under either GPL or BSD license. The SDK for the NPS-400 packet processor includes open source driver software, APIs, control and data path libraries, and complete toolchain to program the NPS-400 network processor. In addition, the kit also provides reference applications for switching, routing and IPSec processing. The Accelerated Linux Virtual server (LVS) is provided as an example of how the OpenNPU can be used to provide significant hardware acceleration to the Linux kernel networking stack.
“The market for networking devices is undergoing a major paradigm shift, moving away from closed proprietary OEM network equipment and migrating towards open platforms that are both flexible and configurable,” said Dror Goldenberg, vice president software architecture, Mellanox Technologies. “We are in full support of this movement as evidenced by our initiative to open source the entire suite of Mellanox software for our NPS family of network processors.”
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.
- Last month, Mellanox completed its acquisition of EZchip at a total purchase price of approximately $811 million (approximately $606 million net of cash).