Copenhagen, Denmark – Napatechthe provider of programmable intelligent network interface cards (SmartNICs) used for data processing unit (DPU) and infrastructure processing unit (IPU) services in telecommunications, cloud, enterprise, cybersecurity and financial companies worldwide, announced the delivery of the release of its SmartNIC 5G-based offload solution for 5G User Plane Function (UPF), enabling hardware and software ecosystem partners to get started integrations with their products.
Unlike most 4G networks based on purpose-built appliances, the 5G packet core is implemented as virtualized or cloud-native software running on servers located in edge and central data centers. As communications service providers (CSPs) and enterprises ramp up deployments of their 5G networks, they face significant financial pressure to maximize the number of users that can be supported on each server, regardless of whether it is whether individual subscribers or IoT devices, minimizing the net cost. per user.
In the 5G packet core software, the subsystem that represents the highest computational workload is the User Plane Function (UPF), which performs critical packet inspection, routing, and forwarding functions. . Since general-purpose server processors are not well suited to the performance and latency requirements of real-time packet processing, network operators and 5G core software vendors are increasingly adopting solutions to Offload the UPF to accelerator cards optimized for running such workloads.
Napatech addresses key business challenges associated with packet core deployments with its integrated hardware/software solution that includes a fully offloaded UPF fast path implemented in Napatech’s Link-Inline software stack, running on an FPGA-based programmable SmartNIC . The UPF data path is implemented as an inline or “pinned” port-to-port architecture, which ensures that after initial configuration, all flows are handled on the SmartNIC without the need to pass traffic to and from the server processor, maximizing overall performance. of the system. In line with plans announced earlier this year, the first version of this solution is now shipping to select hardware and software ecosystem partners.
Using a single 200 Gbps SmartNIC to support 100 Gbps of full-duplex traffic, Napatech’s UPF offload solution handles up to 140 million concurrent streams, with a stream learning rate greater than 1, 5 million streams per second, achieving total throughput of up to 85 million packets per second over stateful connections and ensuring full speed operation for typical packet sizes. In a representative use case analyzed by the company, Napatech’s UPF offload solution allows network operators to support 75x more users per server than with software UPF and 7x more users per server than with a competing ASIC-based SmartNIC.
“Through collaboration with our partner ecosystem, Napatech ensures that our UPF offload solution is available to CSPs and enterprise end users through their preferred software vendors, server OEMs and system integrators,” says Charlie. Ashton, Senior Director of Business Development, Napatech. “We are now delivering the first version of this solution to select hardware and software partners, which we believe will lead to the availability of integrated system-level solutions ready for deployment in the first half of 2023.”
“AvidThink was thrilled to feature Napatech’s 5G UPF offload solution in our SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration 2022 report published in April, and we’re excited to see them deliver the first version in this second half.” , says Roy Chua, founder and director of AvidThink . “As CSPs and enterprises seek to deploy 5G packet cores in edge clouds and on-premises data centers, Napatech’s solution can enable these deployments while reducing power consumption, cost, and overhead. footprint, contributing significantly to improving the ROI of their network infrastructure.”
Napatech will showcase its 5G UPF offload solution at Layer123 World Congress 2022 in London from December 5 to 7.
For more information on Napatech’s 5G UPF offload solution, please see the solution overview.