Mellanox announced its ConnectX-4 Lx EN Programmable Adapter Card—a PCIe card that integrates Mellanox’s best-in-class Programmable network controller ASIC with a Xilinx All Programmable Kintex UltraScale FPGA—at SC15 in Austin last week. The addition of the Xilinx FPGA gives the card additional, heavy-duty, on-board processing capabilities beyond those already built into the Mellanox ASIC. The on-board FPGA (a Kintex UltraScale KU040 or KU060) serves as a “bump-on-the-wire” programmable processing engine for developing a wide range of networking applications including high-frequency trading, deep-packet inspection, compression/decompression, storage, and security. High-speed Ethernet communications go through the on-board Mellanox ASIC, which handles the network communications protocols and includes native hardware support for low-latency RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), Ethernet stateless offload engines, PeerDirect communication acceleration, and Mellanox’s Multi-Host Technology. The Mellanox ASIC communicates with the board’s single QSFP optical-port cage and the Kintex UltraScale FPGA over 40GbE links.
Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN 10/40GbE Programmable Adapter Card with one QSFP port and a Kintex UltraScale FPGA for local, on-board processing
The ConnectX-4 Lx EN Programmable adapter card includes FPGA Board Support Packages (BSP), providing programmers with the necessary infrastructure to implement their own applications and reduce time to market. Moving applications from the host CPU to the Xilinx FPGA on the ConnectX-4 Lx EN Programmable Adapter Card while taking advantage of the Mellanox network controller ASIC’s hardware-based application acceleration drops CPU utilization and makes the CPU available for additional high-level functions.