SDK Development of Next Generation SDN ASIC

We pursued this project for a startup. They have designed SoC to be used in the software-defined network (SDN) based switches. This SoC could be part of Line Cards or Pizza Box architecture of network switch. The switches were destined to be part of Data centers as ‘Top of the Rack’ architecture. The SoC had to be capable enough to provide more than 100 network ports of 10 Gigabits.

AIM OF THE PROJECT

We were responsible for developing device drivers, packet parser automation, SDK, universal network switch benchmark application. In addition to this, we were also required to develop test suite for the SDK and test the system for proper functioning of the Soc, Universal Test Framework (UTF), automation tool for SDK / APIs testing.

THE CHALLENGE

Developing a complete guided SDK is in itself, as challenge. Along with that, we had to perform rigorous testing of the SoC, all in a restrained time limit. Since this project was for a start-up, we also took up responsibility as a one-stop solution provider.

FEATURES
  • The Chip is able to handle 1000+ Gbps of traffic, essential for huge IT infrastructure like Data center
  • Chip is design for Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Develop a white model to mimic behavior of chip components
  • Chip can be interfaced with Management CPU over PCIe, I2C, MDIO and Ethernet interface
  • SDK for chip designs and developed to easily ported on OS and flexible to integrate with various Network Operating System (NOS) of different market leaders
  • Configurable ports offering of 10g, 20g, 40g and 100g speeds
  • Switch manufacturer can configure software define parser engine
  • Automatic Ethernet cable plug-in/plug-out detection for port configuration
  • SDK used in cloud/enterprise data centers, service provider infrastructure, for both top-of-rack and backbone applications
  • Automation tool for end-to-end internet protocol validation
  • Supports multiple tunneling protocols
    • MPLS, GRE, VXLAN, STT, GENEVE, IPSec, Etc
  • Pre-Silicon validation during production
  • Generates statistics report for hardware, peripheral, all network protocol and SDK feature
VOLANSYS’ ROLE

We helped the client by developing a white model of the chip’s interface module and a Software Development Kit. We also watched over the careful integration of SDK modules with other modules, developed by the client’s in-house software team. Following list shows our contribution:

  • Design and develop complete control plane SDK
  • Implemented auto code generation framework for various SDK modules
  • Development of Linux Device drivers for I2C, MDIO, and PCI for customer’s chip
  • Design and development of various modules in SDK
  • Universal device driver layer implemented
  • Development of the MIPS 4K firmware
  • Silicon Bring up activities
  • Complete customer proprietary design implementation
  • Port speed configuration as per switch manufacturer requirement
  • Universal Ethernet and mac configuration
  • Design & develop white model [virtual switch] of the management block
  • Design and develop packet parser automation for software configurable parser engine
  • Design and develop universal switch feature validation automation
  • Develop peripheral diagnostic utility for pre-silicon validation
  • Designed and developed the automation test framework for SDK / APIs testing
  • Development of framework to validate network functionality of the switch