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Mellanox Aims to Enable Rapid Prototyping with New OpenNPU SDK

November 08, 2016





Mellanox (News - Alert) Technologies Ltd. now offers a software development kit and is launching a university program in an effort to move open and software-defined networking forward.


The initial focus of the effort is the release of the OpenNPU SDK for the company’s NPS-400. Mellanox Technologies hopes the OpenNPU SDK will lead to rapid prototyping and innovation by academic and research institutions, commercial organizations, and individuals.

The NPS-400 is a network processor unit that does processing at 600 million packets per second. It’s programmable in C in the Linux environment. It can do packet processing at layers 2 through 7. And it can address application recognition, cyber-attack prevention, deep packet inspection, distributed denial of service mitigation, firewall, intrusion protection/detection systems, and router functions.

“Making an open source SDK available for the NPS-400 is a natural evolution of the Mellanox NPU offering,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group. “With its support for GNU-based tools and Linux, the NPS architecture makes programming an NPU easier and more accessible than any prior merchant product.”

Mellanox Technologies also recently announced plans to launch a university partnership program to support the development of open source APIs and a multi-vendor ecosystem to accelerate software-defined networking. The company will provide NPS equipment and technical support to universities participating in the program, for which more details are available at University@opennpu.org.

The news this month from Mellanox Technologies comes just a month after the company announced the availability of a standard Linux kernel driver for its Open Ethernet, Spectrum (News - Alert) switches.

That enables standard Linux operating systems and off-the-shelf Linux-based applications to operate on the switch. Rather than using vendor-specific software development kits, customers can employ the open source Linux driver to control the switch hardware. As a result, data centers can employ the hardware of their choice.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


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