IEEE International Conference on High Performance Switching and Routing
17-20 June 2018 – Bucharest, Romania

Mellanox Tutorial on SmartNICs


Innova2 Tutorial: An Industrial Strength Capable FPGA +NIC Platform


Data Centers, Machine Learning platforms and 5G infrastructure present significant challenges to the network infrastructure, including bandwidth and latency as well as power and cost. It is long known that FPGAs provide the ultimate programmability in close to hardware cost. Tight integration of the silicon accelerators, like RDMA and encryption, provided by modern NICs with FPGA flexibility has a great potential to meet these challenges. But Bump on the Wire Architecture does not meet the NFV requirements as the FPGA has to be aware of all the VM flow control rules, which get updated very fast.

Mellanox invented Innova®2 which allows the FPGA to offload virtual networks and virtual machines, without the need to parse and update the FPGA about the packet header. In this tutorial, we will present the Mellanox Innova®2 FPGA+NIC integrated board and teach you how to build the future network-edge applications on top of it. The tutorial covers the architecture, the principles of operations, and the development environment.

The tutorial will include two practical examples as follows:

  • Catch a specific vflow in FPGA without a single line of FPGA coding.
  • Modify the flow packets in the FPGA.

Speaker’s Bio

Dotan Levi is a senior architect at Mellanox Technologies. He has 13 years of experience, spread across software, hardware, algorithms and architectures. In the past Dotan worked for Zoran Semiconductor (later acquired by CSR) doing algorithms and architectures. Dotan holds a B.Sc degree in Electrical Engineering from Technicon Israel Institute of Technology.