SalesIn August of 2013, Scott joined forces with Solarflare Communications to promote 10GbE using their advanced ASIC architecture to his customers. Unlike Myricom’s six-year-old technology, Solarflare had just released their latest silicon on their SFN7xxx series cards. Several prior families of this silicon existed so this ASIC was highly evolved in both features and performance. Since then Solarflare has turned their NIC ASIC silicon several times and released the following software defined NIC applications/firmware:

  • ULL – Ultra-low latency firmware, enabling <1us 1/2 round trip TCP performance.
  • PTP – Precision Time Protocol, timestamping with nanosecond resolution.
  • ServerLock – Hardware firewalling within the NIC.
  • PackedStream – multiple Ethernet frames in a single PCIe transfer for capture.
  • TXStriping – multiple Ethernet transmit frames in a single PCIe transfer.

In 2017 Solarflare has delivered DPDK support, a TCP transport for NVMe over fabrics that is NIC agnostic, and a line of capture appliances.

From August 2005 through August 2013 Scott had worked for Myricom to help them better service IBM, HP and direct accounts in the eastern US. Myricom began shipping high-performance 10Gb Ethernet adapters in February 2006.

Myricom delivered wire-rate 10Gb Ethernet cards capable of both the theoretical maximum bandwidth (9.981Gbps), packet rate (14.88Mpps), and with exceeding low latency (2-15us). Unfortunately today Myricom’s 8A, 8B and 8C line of cards are based on a chip fabricated in 2007. Only the newer FPGA-based 8D series card which came out in 2014 are reasonably current. Myricom once shipped the following industry-specific offloads:

  • DBL (Datagram Bypass Layer) – This offload was designed for finance in 2009 and at that time delivered < 3.5us 1/2RT latency on UDP send & receive and up to nearly 1Mpps. DBL 2.0 delivered in 2011 offered TCP with 4.0us 1/2RT latency. By 2012 both these numbers had slipped to just under 2us.
  • Sniffer10G – Is a wire-rate packet capture driver supporting 64-byte packets to 14.88Mpps.
  • VideoPump – Was an offload designed to stream video via UDP to cable/satellite receivers at wire rate with nearly no host CPU utilization. Supports nearly 2,500 standard definition video streams per 10G link.
  • Myrinet Express over Ethernet (MXoE) – Using an ethernet header feature called EtherType, Myricom can route high-performance Myrinet messages over a layer-2 Ethernet with very low latency, typically 3us given specific vendor switches. Note this was not RoCE, but it provided a kernel bypass layer on which MPI could be run over Ethernet.
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