SmartNICs Summit

Don’t miss the P4 Workshop taking place at the SmartNICs Summit on Tuesday, April 26th, 1-pm.

Mario Baldi, Pensando (Moderator)
Gordon Brebner, AMD
Carmelo Cascone, Intel

Session Description:
P4 is a programming language for specifying how network devices such as switches, routers, and NICs process packets. Vendors have used it as the programming language of choice for many products, such as the Cisco Silicon One chipsets, the Barefoot Tofino switches, the Pensando Distributed Services Cards, the AMD SN1000 SmartNIC, and the Aruba CX 10000 smart switch. It is particularly useful for today’s applications that employ software-defined networking (SDN). Using P4 makes network devices easier to program, debug, document, maintain, and update. The main ideas behind P4 are:

– Close relationship with typical packet processing tasks. P4 programs specify how packet headers are parsed and what actions are taken based on field values.

– Protocol independence: Network devices are not tied to specific protocols.

-Target independence: Programmers can describe packet processing for any underlying hardware.

– Reconfigurability in the field: Programmers can change the way switches process packets after deployment.

The P4 ecosystem includes an extensive range of products, projects, and services. The P4 website ( is a great source to learn about P4 and join the community. P4’s current tasks include the definition of a Portable NIC Architecture (PNA). Special Feature: Attendees will have opportunities to write P4 code and corresponding control plane functions.

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