Dataplane: P4 targets

  • BMv2

BMv2 is the open source P4 switch developed and maintained by the P4Lang group. It can be downloaded here. It uses the V1Model P4 Switch Architecture depicted below:

  • TOFINO target

Similar to BMv2, TOFINO uses the PSA - Portable Switch Architecture. However, while BMv2 is a P4 virtual software switch TOFINO (and his older brother TOFINO 2) is a network processor able to switch packet at tremendous line rate.

While BMv2 is an excellent alternative to learn and develop P4 algorithm, TOFINO & TOFINO 2 open the gate to exciting use cases in real production environment.

More information can be found here.

Software for TOFINO Programmable Switching ASIC is subject to a Software License and Confidentiality Agreement (SLACA)

If you are an R&E organization please submit an application via INTEL/BAREFOOT FASTER portal

  • FPGA target

Porting RARE on FPGA is an on-going effort, this target is perfect for enabling RARE/FreeRouter on FPGA card that are produced massively and thus present a very interesting TCO. 

  • DPDK target

P4 hardware target like TOFINO enable LSR/LER use cases. But in certain context, acquiring P4 hardware for SOHO use cases (primary/secondary schools, small R&E instituions) is financially not possible. In that context, we propose a solution that leverage existing kernel bypass machanism such as DPDK. The resulting work is the creation of p4dpdk which is inherently an emulation of RARE software running on P4 target but written entirely from scratch in C code.  

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