High-Performance Programmable SmartNICs

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Empowering the Next Generation of Secure Cloud SmartNICs

Mellanox's family of programmable SmartNICs encompasses the advanced capabilities of the ConnectX® network adapters with advanced software or FPGA programmability, providing data-centers with levels of performance and functionality previously unseen in the market. These cards are based on the BlueField Data Processing Unit (DPU) – a family of innovative networking and I/O acceleration ICs.

The new generation of SmartNICs is the perfect blend of hardware and programmable accelerations enabling secure and high-performance network solutions for cloud, storage, machine learning and edge computing applications while increasing productivity and reducing total cost of ownership.

BlueField SmartNIC


Provide workload isolation and accelerate packet analysis, SDN firewall, and encryption to free the CPU.


Accelerate server/network virtualization and offload software-defined networking to increase cloud efficiency.


Virtualize and offload networking and software defined storage access to boost hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).


Speed up and virtualize access to storage—including NVMe-oF and NVMe/TCP.

The Results Are In: IT Pros Want SmartNICs

In an independent research study, key IT executives from a mixture of large enterprise and cloud data centers were surveyed on their thoughts about emerging networking technologies that can be used to support cloud-scale data centers models.

Read the free report to find out:

  • How SmartNICs fulfill IT pros’ five top needs for data center performance.
  • The five most appealing use cases for SmartNICs.
  • How SmartNICs provide the solution to the end of Moore’s Law
  • How using SmartNICs results in faster application performance, improved application reliability, greater flexibility, and application reliability.
Get the free report

BlueField®-2 DPU-based Programmable SmartNIC

The Mellanox BlueField-2 Data Processing Unit (DPU) is the IC at the heart of software programmable SmartNICs. The 200Gb/s BlueField-2 IC integrates into one chip – a 64-bit Arm® multicore processor array combined with Mellanox ConnectX®-6 Dx advanced networking and security offloads – to accelerate a multitude of security, networking and storage applications. High-performance and software-programmable networking capabilities enable the IC to customize and optimize both control plane and data path operations.

BlueField-2 SmartNIC delivers isolation, hardware root-of-trust and IPsec and TLS cryptography accelerations, thus, enabling data center security at the endpoint with best-in-class performance, turning zero-trust to hero-trust.

BlueField-2 SmartNIC in bare metal deployments enables cloud providers to provision servers while retaining the ability to control them and deploy policy rules in an isolated and secured manner, totally transparent to the tenant. Moreover, Mellanox NVMe SNAP which logically presents networked storage as a local NVMe drive on the PCIe bus is bringing virtualized storage to bare metal clouds, making composable storage simple, while promoting CAPEX and OPEX savings.

BlueField® DPU-based Programmable SmartNIC

Mellanox BlueField programmable SmartNIC combines 64-bit Arm® multi-core processing power with ConnectX®-5 advanced network and storage offloads to accelerate a multitude of security, networking and storage applications at speeds of up to 100Gb/s.

BlueField high-performance, programmable networking engine enables the customization and optimization of both control and data path operations. Key features include an embedded virtual switch with programmable ACLs, transport offloads, stateless encapsulation and decapsulation of overlay protocols (NVGRE, VXLAN, MPLS), dedicated hardware offloads (including NVMe-oF), as well as superior RDMA and GPUDirect® accelerators.

Mellanox Innova™ FPGA-based Programmable SmartNIC

The Mellanox Innova™ FPGA-based programmable SmartNICs offer a highly programmable, performant alternative, specifically suitable for companies with Verilog FPGA development skills. Designed with a ConnectX-5 Intelligent network controller and the addition of an on-board FPGA to provide acceleration to a wide range of applications, including Security, Storage, Artificial Intelligence, Media & Entertainment, Cloud and more.

The on-board FPGA provides users with the maximum flexibility to offload the CPU and create custom-made accelerations and offering hardware support for RDMA over Converged Ethernet, Ethernet stateless offload engines, Overlay Networks, and GPUDirect.

BlueField Solution Partners

Enabling the future of the data-center, today.

Mellanox BlueField DPU-based product family unlocks unprecedented performance, scalability, and infrastructure efficiency for a wide range of cloud and data-center applications.

Leveraging the BlueField platform, Mellanox is partnered with innovative technology vendors to deliver best-of-breed solutions including enterprise NVMe storage, zero-trust security and industrial IoT, among others.

Key Partner Features

  • Consistent and predictable performance – BlueField delivers unmatched performance in Ethernet and InfiniBand network environments
  • Scalable, future-proof design – BlueField offers a broad coverage of configurations best suited for the most demanding workloads
  • Innovative and efficient – BlueField enables next-generation IoT and edge computing platforms while reducing total cost of ownership

Configuration Tools

Mellanox provides a series of tools to properly configure a cluster based on your choice of interconnect (InfiniBand or Ethernet).

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Product Support

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Mellanox Academy

Workshops that will put you on the fast track to install, configure, monitor, and diagnose IP network in data centers.

Why You Need a SmartNIC and Smart NIC Use Cases

In the first blog of this series, I argued that it is function and not form that define a SmartNIC (or smart NIC). I also introduce another category of data center NICs called an intelligent NIC (iNIC) which include both hardware transport and a programmable data path for virtual switch acceleration. These capabilities are necessary but not sufficient for a NIC to be a SmartNIC. A true SmartNIC must also include an easily extensible, C-programmable Linux environment that...


How Mellanox BlueField SmartNIC transforms bare metal Kubernetes

Starting out my career as an IT engineer in the early 2000’s exposed me to early discussions about hypervisors and virtual machines, including how they can save you time on server provisioning. I was intrigued by the way server virtualization had disrupted enterprise IT over the years, delivering infrastructure efficiency and automation. By the time I moved on in my career into a business role in 2009, most workloads were running on highly distributed virtual...


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