Silicon Solutions

Netronome’s Network Flow Processor (NFP) silicon products used in the Agilio family of intelligent server adapters target a diverse set of server-based networking offload and acceleration applications. Because they are highly programmable, they can evolve rapidly with new server-based networking features without requiring a silicon re-spin. The NFP products are purpose-built to be a coprocessor to general-purpose server CPUs similar to the Xeon class x86 CPUs from Intel.

Features

The portfolio of three device families, the NFP6000, NFP4000 and NFP3000, are designed to cover a comprehensive range of throughput and performance requirements. The devices provide native support for multiple 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE network interfaces. In addition to the network interface, the devices support a separate PCIe interface. The various device families inherit a common Flow Processing Core (FPC) as the fundamental processing element and this allows Netronome software to be portable across various device families. The NFP product family is supported by a comprehensive software suite for server-based network acceleration and offloads applications. Programming tools allow for C and P4-based networking datapath development.

Architecture

NFP is the industry’s highest multi-threaded processor solution that encompasses three groups of processing elements. This includes (1) a large number of Flow Processing Cores (FPC) with 8 threads each, and each thread supporting 15 concurrent IO operations, (1) multi-threaded memory engines for low-latency access and banks of SRAM tightly coupled with atomic and other hardware accelerator functions and (3) a host of hardware accelerators for compute intensive functions such as hashing, crypto, CAM, atomic and other operations. These processing elements are connected together by a multi-terabit mesh fabric that helps avoid bus contention and saturation issues.

NFP-3000 Family

The NFP-3000 device family is designed for networking and security appliance platforms enabling high flow capacity and throughput for network port-to-network-port traffic scenarios. The device family supports 40 eight-way multi-threaded Flow Processing Cores (FPC) running at 1.4GHz. It also natively supports 4x10GbE and PCIe2 1x8 interfaces that are designed to operate concurrently. An integrated 32-bit ARM11 core is supported for housekeeping and selective application offloads.

Read the NFP-3000 Product Brief

NFP-4000 Family

This NFP-4000 device family is optimally designed to fit the PCIe networking interface card (NIC) cost, power and form factor requirements for COTS-server-based compute node platforms. These devices are suitable for network-to-VM, VM-to-network, VM-to-VM, and network-port-to-network-port traffic scenarios. These devices enable high flow capacity and throughput for these traffic scenarios, while saving significant CPU cycles. The device family supports 96 eight-way multi-threaded Flow Processing Cores (FPC), 48 configurable Packet Processing Cores (PPC) and a large number of hardware accelerators. The device family natively supports 12x10GbE and PCIe3 2x8 interfaces that are designed to operate concurrently. An integrated 32-bit ARM11 core is supported for housekeeping and selective application offloads. The NFP-4000 device family is purpose-built to meet the form factor and low power requirements for a “low-profile half-length PCIe” and “Open Compute Platform (OCP)” specifications. The device family supports concurrent connectivity with two x86 sockets over PCIe3.0 interface.

Read the NFP-4000 Product Brief or the NFP-4000 Theory of Operation

NFP-6000 Family

This NFP-6000 device family enables offload and acceleration of host based networking applications used in service nodes and gateways. The NFP-6000 device family delivers high performance for network port to network port traffic scenarios, while delivering very high flow capacities. The device family supports 120 eight way multi-threaded Flow Processing Cores (FPC), 96 configurable Packet Processing Cores (PPC) and a large number of hardware accelerators. The device family natively supports 48x10GbE and PCIe3 4x8 interfaces that are designed to operate concurrently. An integrated 32-bit ARM11 core is supported for housekeeping and selective application offloads. The device family supports concurrent connectivity to four x86 sockets over PCIe3.0 interface.

Read the NFP-6000 Product Brief