Napatech launches 400 Gbps SmartNIC solutions

Aug. 29, 2023
The NT400 SmartNIC solution, available now, leverages Intel’s latest Agilex® FPGA.

Napatech, a provider of programmable Smart Network Interface Cards (SmartNICs) and Infrastructure Processing Units (IPU) used in cloud, enterprise and telecom datacenter networks, has made its 400Gbps programmable SmartNIC solutions available.

These new solutions leverage Intel’s Agilex® 7 FPGAs to address security, cloud services, network monitoring and recording applications. Enterprises and OEMs providing high-performance network monitoring and recording solutions require NICs with a performance level that matches the high PCI Express (PCIe) bandwidth available in the latest servers, such as those based on 4th Gen Intel Xeon® Processors.

The new Napatech NT400 SmartNIC platform, based on the Intel® FPGA SmartNIC N6000-PL Platform, addresses this need through a PCIe Gen 4 16-lane host interface which enables full-duplex 2x100Gbps traffic between network ports and host applications. Similarly, for applications like the 5G packet core that require high-bandwidth inline network data processing, the NT400 platform sustains a total of 400G of traffic over tens of millions of flows.

The NT400 programmable SmartNIC platform includes two QSFP56 network ports, supporting up to 2x200G traffic with the flexibility to configure 10G, 25G, 40G, 50G, 100G and 200G network links.

The SmartNIC hardware is complemented by Napatech's portfolio of production-grade software packages, including Link-Capture™ for use cases such as network monitoring and recording, Link-Virtualization™ that provides a virtualized data plane for cloud services and Link-Inline™ for inline applications such as 5G User Plane Function (UPF).

As an integrated solution, the only thing that’s required of a user is that they install the card and the software, which allows them to accelerate the application with no requirement to program the SmartNIC itself directly.

At the core of the NT400 platform is the Intel Agilex 7 FPGA F-Tile chiplet, which incorporates a configurable, hardened Ethernet protocol stack for supporting rates from 10G to 400G. The F-Tile features enable the NT400 to operate within the space and power limitations of standard servers deployed in network appliances, data centers and edge locations.

Napatech is tapping into what analysts see as a burgeoning segment.

A recent Omdia report revealed that SmartNICs would be a significant growth contributor to the NIC market. The research firm forecasts that the NIC market will reach $3.3 billion by 2025.

"High bandwidth programmable Ethernet adapters require excellent optimization in hardware and software to ensure deterministic and predictable processing time and make them suitable for real-time networking applications,” said Manoj Sukumaran, principal analyst for Datacenter Compute and Networking at Omdia. “Napatech is among the few vendors who could provide highly optimized SmartNICs and software solutions leveraging FPGAs from vendors like Intel and deliver highly efficient network offload capabilities.”

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About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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