Intel Agilex® 7 M-Series FPGA Network-on-Chip (NoC) User Guide

ID 768844
Date 12/04/2023
Document Table of Contents SmartNIC NoC Application

Network Interface Cards (NICs) connect computers and servers to an Ethernet network. SmartNICs are network adapters that have programmability and flexibility to accelerate and offload certain functions from the server CPU, such as packet processing that traditional NICs are incapable of handling.

SmartNICs can increase server performance in data centers by offloading network processing workloads and tasks from the CPU. This offloading frees up server CPU cores to work on computationally intensive business-critical tasks at the network flow and packet level. Offloading functions such as storage, encryption, and sophisticated routing enables SmartNICs to deliver back to the host the CPU cycles usually spent processing these workloads. This offloading can result in improved server performance and reduced overall power consumption.

The support different processing engines, such as filtering, switching, routing, packet buffering, and flow control, requires external high-bandwidth and high-capacity memories, such as HBM2e and DDR5. Additionally, the interface between the SmartNIC and external memory must meet the bandwidth requirement of the switching Ethernet traffic. The NoC subsystem available in Intel Agilex® 7 M-Series FPGAs provides the high-bandwidth interconnect between these programmable offload engines and the external memory that SmartNIC applications require.