Netronome introduced the NFP-32xx family of Network Flow Processors. The NFP-32xx is the first processor to remove the barriers in unified computing architectures by combining the NFP’s network, content, and security processing with general purpose processors (such as Intel’s IA). The NFP-32xx is also backward-compatible with the Intel IXP28XX. The NFP is available wth prices starting at $275. The network flow processors are available for sample orders today, with general availability in Q3 2009.
Netronome NFP-32xx Network Flow Processors Highlights
Powered by 40 multi-threaded programmable networking cores running at 1.4GHz, the NFP delivers over 56 billion instructions per second with 320 hardware threads that optimize memory utilization – allowing for 1800 instructions per packet at 30 million packets per second. This enables 20Gbps of L2-L7 deep packet processing with line-rate security and I/O virtualization for millions of simultaneous flows.
Operating at only 15 to 35 watts, the NFP-32xx revolutionizes green computing by delivering more than four times the power efficiency of its closest competitor.
Unlike fixed-function ASICs and configurable NPUs, Netronome’s NFPs are the first fully programmable processors capable of addressing the increasingly complex requirements of unified computing architectures. Software-defined I/O supports both L2-L3 packet processing and L4-L7 application- and content-aware deep packet inspection. This programmability, coupled with line rate packet processing, provides the highest level of inspection and throughput available in the industry for traditional NPU applications such as high-performance line cards.
Network Virtualization in Silicon
Virtualized multicore CPUs are increasingly used in switches, routers, and network appliances for control, data plane, security and other networking applications. To scale network performance to 10Gbps and beyond the NFP-32xx offers a PCIe v2.0 implementation including extended SR-IOV with 256 queues to provide guaranteed bandwidth and low latency access to shared I/O devices. Netronome’s SR-IOV drivers include configurable algorithms for load balancing to virtualized multicore CPUs and efficient zero-copy mechanisms that significantly improve CPU, memory and system bandwidth utilization. In addition to eight PCIe lanes, the NFP supports a wide range of popular high-speed network interfaces including dual 25Gbps Interlaken, SPI-4.2 and dual 10Gbps XAUI.
Integrated Hardware Acceleration
Unified computing architectures place extensive security requirements on the network. Ranging from coarse policy enforcement using IEEE 802.1AE LinkSec to granular and stateful flow-based applications such as IPsec and SSL, security processing is now required for the majority of network traffic. The NFP provides 20Gbps of line rate security processing by embedding hardware acceleration in a programmable dataplane, including:
- Cryptography engines with support for RC4, 3DES, AES, SHA-1, and the SHA-2 family of algorithms
- PKI engines to accelerate modular exponentiation with up to 2048-bit keys
- 3.5 billion 64-bit hashes per second for security, regular expression and deduplication applications
- Dedicated hardware for true random number generation
- Support for in-line and look-aside security processing designs
More information: Netronome Systems