1. NVIDIA BlueField Board Support Package


NVIDIA acquired Mellanox Technologies in 2020. The DPDK documentation and code might still include instances of or references to Mellanox trademarks (like BlueField and ConnectX) that are now NVIDIA trademarks.

This document has information about steps to setup NVIDIA BlueField platform and common offload HW drivers of NVIDIA BlueField family SoC.

1.1. Supported BlueField Platforms

1.2. Common Offload HW Drivers

  1. NIC Driver

    See NVIDIA MLX5 Ethernet Driver for NVIDIA mlx5 NIC driver information.

  2. Cryptodev Driver

    This is based on the crypto extension support of armv8. See ARMv8 Crypto Poll Mode Driver for armv8 crypto driver information.


BlueField has a variant having no armv8 crypto extension support.

1.3. Steps To Setup Platform

Toolchains, OS and drivers can be downloaded and installed individually from the web, but it is recommended to follow instructions at:

1.4. Compile DPDK

DPDK can be compiled either natively on BlueField platforms or cross-compiled on an x86 based platform.

1.4.1. Native Compilation

Refer to NVIDIA MLX5 Ethernet Driver for prerequisites. Either NVIDIA MLNX_OFED/EN or rdma-core library with corresponding kernel drivers is required.

meson setup build
ninja -C build

1.4.2. Cross Compilation

Refer to Cross compiling DPDK for aarch64 and aarch32 to install the cross toolchain for ARM64. Base on that, additional header files and libraries are required:

  • libibverbs
  • libmlx5
  • libnl-3
  • libnl-route-3

Such header files and libraries can be cross-compiled and installed in the cross toolchain environment. They can also be simply copied from the filesystem of a working BlueField platform. The following script can be run on a BlueField platform in order to create a supplementary tarball for the cross toolchain.

mkdir -p aarch64-linux-gnu/libc
pushd $PWD
cd aarch64-linux-gnu/libc

# Copy libraries
mkdir -p lib64
cp -a /lib64/libibverbs* lib64/
cp -a /lib64/libmlx5* lib64/
cp -a /lib64/libnl-3* lib64/
cp -a /lib64/libnl-route-3* lib64/

# Copy header files
mkdir -p usr/include/infiniband
cp -a /usr/include/infiniband/ib_user_ioctl_verbs.h usr/include/infiniband/
cp -a /usr/include/infiniband/mlx5*.h usr/include/infiniband/
cp -a /usr/include/infiniband/tm_types.h usr/include/infiniband/
cp -a /usr/include/infiniband/verbs*.h usr/include/infiniband/

# Create supplementary tarball
tar cf aarch64-linux-gnu-mlx.tar aarch64-linux-gnu/

Then, untar the tarball at the cross toolchain directory on the x86 host.

cd $(dirname $(which aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc))/..
tar xf aarch64-linux-gnu-mlx.tar
meson setup build --cross-file config/arm/arm64_bluefield_linux_gcc
ninja -C build