Date: September 26, 2019
Time: 2:30-3:30pm ET


Data-center network stacks are moving into hardware to achieve 100 Gbps data rates and beyond at low latency and low CPU utilization. However, hardwiring the network stack in the NIC would stifle the much-needed innovation in transport protocols. In this talk, we discuss how to enable programmable transport protocols in high-speed NICs using Tonic, a flexible hardware architecture for transport logic. Designing such an architecture is challenging: at 100 Gbps, transport protocols must generate a data segment every few nanoseconds using only a few kilobits of per-flow state on the NIC. By exploiting common patterns across transport logic of different transport protocols, Tonic provides an efficient hardware “template” for transport logic that satisfies these constraints while being programmable with a simple API. Experiments with our FPGA-based prototype show that Tonic can support the transport logic of a wide range of protocols and meet timing for 100 Gbps of back-to-back 128-byte packets. That is, every 10 ns, our prototype generates the address of a data segment for one of more than a thousand active flows for a downstream DMA pipeline to fetch and transmit a packet.


Mina is a postdoctoral researcher at the computer science department of Cornell University, working with Nate Foster and Rachit Agarwal. Her research focuses on software defined networks and programmable data planes. Prior to Cornell, she received her PhD degree at Princeton University advised by Jennifer Rexford, and her B.Sc degree from Sharif University of Technology.