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P4 Runtime Speaker for Intel Tofino-based White Box Network Hardware


As more functions within a network are being virtualized and run on x86 servers, the Tofino silicon can be used to offload and accelerate stateless processing in the dataplane. The NoviSpeaker provides a complete software stack which application developers can leverage to decrease time to market by focusing on the creation of their core IP while NoviSpeaker provides the infrastructure, operating system and development environment. NoviSpeaker combined with a customer application can be delivered as a complete control plane for Tofino-based switches that can be deployed locally on the switch or on a remote server.



1.    Silicon based Algorithms crafted by the Developer:  unleashes the rich packet handling, INT (in-band network telemetry) and   programmable forwarding plane capabilities of the Intel Tofino processor

2.    Development time-to-market an order of magnitude faster:  a pre-integrated environment for faster development, easy deployment and reliable operation on a variety of white-box network switches and appliances

3.    Elastically Scale and right size network services into the Terabit range: for traffic intensive applications, lower solution costs, and easier integration with network orchestration and automation.

4.    Future Proof Solutions (Anti-Fragile): makes it easy to continuously improve developed applications as needs and conditions change, extending in-service lifetimes and improving them over time!

NoviFlow’s NoviSpeaker was originally designed and developed for internal use in the company’s own development of programmable network appliances. The result is a commercial-grade development and deployment platform for P4-based programmable network applications and services. NoviSpeaker comes with accompanying support and consultative services needed to ensure quality applications, fast time-to-market, and unparalleled access to the advanced features of the Intel Tofino such as programmable pipelines, in-band network telemetry (INT) and multi-Terabit throughput.

Why NoviFlow? NoviFlow has been creating Software Defined Networking solutions since 2012. Programmable match-action pipeline development is in our DNA, and the result is a superior next generation technology stack that provides faster innovation, lower costs, and innovation at every level of the technology stack.

NoviSpeaker leverages NoviWare’s standard APIs (gRPC, gNMI, gNOI and CLI), so applications can directly utilize the advanced match-action pipeline processing capabilities implemented by NoviWare on Tofino-based hardware.  Specific NoviSpeaker capabilities include:

  •  Simplifies connection management between P4 switches and the P4 application
    • The single gRPC channel is used for all the SDN interfaces –  P4Runtime, gNMI, gNOI and gRPC
    • Exposes a northbound gRPC interface for management and runtime control
  • P4Runtime Translation Layer
    • Mapping of IDs from to naming convention (tables, actions etc)
    • Port Mapping to expose front panel port numbers to the applications.
  • Extra port configuration and stats support
  • Debugging
    • Provide logs and debugging information to help debug applications
  • Swapping of P4 program
    • Rollback on Error
    • Fast-Refresh support

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