Vendors including Cisco, Juniper, and Arista all recently introduced merchant silicon chips into the mix.
This is Barefoot’s second generation release of its P4-programmable Tofino Ethernet switch ASIC family.
Kaloom says its software-defined fabric approach provides more flexibility than a more integrated model like DANOS.
Network virtualization has primarily focused on software. But now there’s interest in the lower layers of the network: commodity hardware and the silicon that drives the hardware.
Paired with the P4 programming language, Barefoot’s Tofino chip gives users the freedom to design what the chip can do.
Barefoot says its Tofino chip is used for more than just “niche” applications, and the P4 programming language gives it gravitas.
Its vision is to replace the hardware, software, and services that operators have traditionally gotten from telecom vendors such as Cisco and Dell EMC.
Broadcast networks are increasingly moving to IP, and this gives them the opportunity to take advantage of a programmable forwarding plane.
The switches are not only programmable, they're re-programmable, making them available for future use cases, using the same device.
By making switching smarter, operators can lower latency and increase bandwidth.
The company has developed Ethernet switch chips for data centers. It competes against Broadcom, Barefoot, and Cavium.
Barefoot leverages its Tofino programmable switch and the P4 language.
The programmable chip costs the same as fixed-function chips.
P4 Runtime overcomes SDN shortfall of a programmable forwarding plane.
Programmability move looks to target a recent play by Barefoot Networks.