21. NFP poll mode driver library

Netronome’s sixth generation of flow processors pack 216 programmable cores and over 100 hardware accelerators that uniquely combine packet, flow, security and content processing in a single device that scales up to 400 Gbps.

This document explains how to use DPDK with the Netronome Poll Mode Driver (PMD) supporting Netronome’s Network Flow Processor 6xxx (NFP-6xxx).

Currently the driver supports virtual functions (VFs) only.

21.1. Dependencies

Before using the Netronome’s DPDK PMD some NFP-6xxx configuration, which is not related to DPDK, is required. The system requires installation of Netronome’s BSP (Board Support Package) which includes Linux drivers, programs and libraries.

If you have a NFP-6xxx device you should already have the code and documentation for doing this configuration. Contact support@netronome.com to obtain the latest available firmware.

The NFP Linux kernel drivers (including the required PF driver for the NFP) are available on Github at https://github.com/Netronome/nfp-drv-kmods along with build instructions.

DPDK runs in userspace and PMDs uses the Linux kernel UIO interface to allow access to physical devices from userspace. The NFP PMD requires the igb_uio UIO driver, available with DPDK, to perform correct initialization.

21.2. Building the software

Netronome’s PMD code is provided in the drivers/net/nfp directory. Although NFP PMD has NetronomeĀ“s BSP dependencies, it is possible to compile it along with other DPDK PMDs even if no BSP was installed before. Of course, a DPDK app will require such a BSP installed for using the NFP PMD.

Default PMD configuration is at common_linuxapp configuration file:


Once DPDK is built all the DPDK apps and examples include support for the NFP PMD.

21.3. Driver compilation and testing

Refer to the document compiling and testing a PMD for a NIC for details.

21.4. System configuration

  1. Enable SR-IOV on the NFP-6xxx device: The current NFP PMD works with Virtual Functions (VFs) on a NFP device. Make sure that one of the Physical Function (PF) drivers from the above Github repository is installed and loaded.

    Virtual Functions need to be enabled before they can be used with the PMD. Before enabling the VFs it is useful to obtain information about the current NFP PCI device detected by the system:

    lspci -d19ee:

    Now, for example, configure two virtual functions on a NFP-6xxx device whose PCI system identity is “0000:03:00.0”:

    echo 2 > /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:03:00.0/sriov_numvfs

    The result of this command may be shown using lspci again:

    lspci -d19ee: -k

    Two new PCI devices should appear in the output of the above command. The -k option shows the device driver, if any, that devices are bound to. Depending on the modules loaded at this point the new PCI devices may be bound to nfp_netvf driver.