NetFPGA Technical Specifications

NetFPGA board

The NetFPGA is the low-cost reconfigurable hardware platform optimized for high-speed networking. The NetFPGA includes the all fo the logic resources, memory, and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces necessary to build a complete switch, router, and/or security device. Because the entire datapath is implemented in hardware, the system can support back-to-back packets at full Gigabit line rates and has a processing latency measured in only a few clock cycles.

  • Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Logic

    • Xilinx Virtex-II Pro 50
    • 53,136 logic cells
    • 4,176 Kbit block RAM
    • up to 738 Kbit distributed RAM
    • 2 x PowerPC cores
    • Fully programmable by the user
  • Gigabit Ethernet networking ports

    • Connector block on left of PCB interfaces to 4 external RJ45 plugs
    • Interfaces with standard Cat5E or Cat6 copper network cables using Broadcom PHY.
    • Wire-speed processing on all ports at all time using FPGA logic.
      • 1 Gbits * 2 (bi-directional) * 4 (ports) = 8 Gbps throughput
  • Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)

    • Suitable for storing forwarding table data
    • Zero-bus turnaround (ZBT), synchronous with the logic
    • Two parallel banks of 18 MBit (2.25 MByte) ZBT memories
    • Total capacity: 4.5 MBytes
    • Cypress: CY7C1370D-167AXC
  • Double-Date Rate Random Access Memory (DDR2 DRAM)

    • 400 MHz Asynchronous clock
    • Suitable for packet buffering
    • 25.6 Gbps peak memory throughput
    • Total capacity: 64 MBytes
    • Micron: MT47H16M16BG-5E
  • Multi-gigabit I/O

    • Two SATA-style connectors to Multi-Gigabit I/O (MGIO) on right-side of PCB
    • Allows multiple NetFPGAs within a PC to be chained together
  • Standard PCI Form Factor

    • Standard PCI card
    • Can be used in a PCI-X slot
    • Enables fast reconfiguration of the FPGA over PCI bus without using JTAG cable
    • Provides CPU access to memory-mapped registers and memory on the NetFPGA hardware
  • Flexibile, Open-source code

    • BSD-style open-source reference router available from the NetFPGA.org website. Download it, use it, keep it, give back to the community if you choose.