12. Wireless Baseband Device Library

The Wireless Baseband library provides a common programming framework that abstracts HW accelerators based on FPGA and/or Fixed Function Accelerators that assist with 3gpp Physical Layer processing. Furthermore, it decouples the application from the compute-intensive wireless functions by abstracting their optimized libraries to appear as virtual bbdev devices.

The functional scope of the BBDEV library are those functions in relation to the 3gpp Layer 1 signal processing (channel coding, modulation, ...).

The framework currently only supports Turbo Code FEC function.

12.1. Design Principles

The Wireless Baseband library follows the same ideology of DPDK’s Ethernet Device and Crypto Device frameworks. Wireless Baseband provides a generic acceleration abstraction framework which supports both physical (hardware) and virtual (software) wireless acceleration functions.

12.2. Device Management

12.2.1. Device Creation

Physical bbdev devices are discovered during the PCI probe/enumeration of the EAL function which is executed at DPDK initialization, based on their PCI device identifier, each unique PCI BDF (bus/bridge, device, function).

Virtual devices can be created by two mechanisms, either using the EAL command line options or from within the application using an EAL API directly.

From the command line using the –vdev EAL option

--vdev 'turbo_sw,max_nb_queues=8,socket_id=0'

Our using the rte_vdev_init API within the application code.

rte_vdev_init("turbo_sw", "max_nb_queues=2,socket_id=0")

All virtual bbdev devices support the following initialization parameters:

  • max_nb_queues - maximum number of queues supported by the device.
  • socket_id - socket on which to allocate the device resources on.

12.2.2. Device Identification

Each device, whether virtual or physical is uniquely designated by two identifiers:

  • A unique device index used to designate the bbdev device in all functions exported by the bbdev API.
  • A device name used to designate the bbdev device in console messages, for administration or debugging purposes. For ease of use, the port name includes the port index.

12.2.3. Device Configuration

From the application point of view, each instance of a bbdev device consists of one or more queues identified by queue IDs. While different devices may have different capabilities (e.g. support different operation types), all queues on a device support identical configuration possibilities. A queue is configured for only one type of operation and is configured at initializations time. When an operation is enqueued to a specific queue ID, the result is dequeued from the same queue ID.

Configuration of a device has two different levels: configuration that applies to the whole device, and configuration that applies to a single queue.

Device configuration is applied with rte_bbdev_setup_queues(dev_id,num_queues,socket_id) and queue configuration is applied with rte_bbdev_queue_configure(dev_id,queue_id,conf). Note that, although all queues on a device support same capabilities, they can be configured differently and will then behave differently. Devices supporting interrupts can enable them by using rte_bbdev_intr_enable(dev_id).

The configuration of each bbdev device includes the following operations:

  • Allocation of resources, including hardware resources if a physical device.
  • Resetting the device into a well-known default state.
  • Initialization of statistics counters.

The rte_bbdev_setup_queues API is used to setup queues for a bbdev device.

int rte_bbdev_setup_queues(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t num_queues,
         int socket_id);
  • num_queues argument identifies the total number of queues to setup for this device.
  • socket_id specifies which socket will be used to allocate the memory.

The rte_bbdev_intr_enable API is used to enable interrupts for a bbdev device, if supported by the driver. Should be called before starting the device.

int rte_bbdev_intr_enable(uint16_t dev_id);

12.2.4. Queues Configuration

Each bbdev devices queue is individually configured through the rte_bbdev_queue_configure() API. Each queue resources may be allocated on a specified socket.

struct rte_bbdev_queue_conf {
    int socket;
    uint32_t queue_size;
    uint8_t priority;
    bool deferred_start;
    enum rte_bbdev_op_type op_type;

12.2.5. Device & Queues Management

After initialization, devices are in a stopped state, so must be started by the application. If an application is finished using a device it can close the device. Once closed, it cannot be restarted.

int rte_bbdev_start(uint16_t dev_id)
int rte_bbdev_stop(uint16_t dev_id)
int rte_bbdev_close(uint16_t dev_id)
int rte_bbdev_queue_start(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id)
int rte_bbdev_queue_stop(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id)

By default, all queues are started when the device is started, but they can be stopped individually.

int rte_bbdev_queue_start(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id)
int rte_bbdev_queue_stop(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id)

12.2.6. Logical Cores, Memory and Queues Relationships

The bbdev device Library as the Poll Mode Driver library support NUMA for when a processor’s logical cores and interfaces utilize its local memory. Therefore baseband operations, the mbuf being operated on should be allocated from memory pools created in the local memory. The buffers should, if possible, remain on the local processor to obtain the best performance results and buffer descriptors should be populated with mbufs allocated from a mempool allocated from local memory.

The run-to-completion model also performs better, especially in the case of virtual bbdev devices, if the baseband operation and data buffers are in local memory instead of a remote processor’s memory. This is also true for the pipe-line model provided all logical cores used are located on the same processor.

Multiple logical cores should never share the same queue for enqueuing operations or dequeuing operations on the same bbdev device since this would require global locks and hinder performance. It is however possible to use a different logical core to dequeue an operation on a queue pair from the logical core which it was enqueued on. This means that a baseband burst enqueue/dequeue APIs are a logical place to transition from one logical core to another in a packet processing pipeline.

12.3. Device Operation Capabilities

Capabilities (in terms of operations supported, max number of queues, etc.) identify what a bbdev is capable of performing that differs from one device to another. For the full scope of the bbdev capability see the definition of the structure in the DPDK API Reference.

struct rte_bbdev_op_cap;

A device reports its capabilities when registering itself in the bbdev framework. With the aid of this capabilities mechanism, an application can query devices to discover which operations within the 3gpp physical layer they are capable of performing. Below is an example of the capabilities for a PMD it supports in relation to Turbo Encoding and Decoding operations.

static const struct rte_bbdev_op_cap bbdev_capabilities[] = {
        .type = RTE_BBDEV_OP_TURBO_DEC,
        .cap.turbo_dec = {
            .capability_flags =
                RTE_BBDEV_TURBO_POS_LLR_1_BIT_IN |
                RTE_BBDEV_TURBO_NEG_LLR_1_BIT_IN |
            .num_buffers_src = RTE_BBDEV_MAX_CODE_BLOCKS,
            .num_buffers_hard_out =
            .num_buffers_soft_out = 0,
        .type   = RTE_BBDEV_OP_TURBO_ENC,
        .cap.turbo_enc = {
            .capability_flags =
                    RTE_BBDEV_TURBO_CRC_24B_ATTACH |
                    RTE_BBDEV_TURBO_RATE_MATCH |
            .num_buffers_src = RTE_BBDEV_MAX_CODE_BLOCKS,
            .num_buffers_dst = RTE_BBDEV_MAX_CODE_BLOCKS,

12.3.1. Capabilities Discovery

Discovering the features and capabilities of a bbdev device poll mode driver is achieved through the rte_bbdev_info_get() function.

int rte_bbdev_info_get(uint16_t dev_id, struct rte_bbdev_info *dev_info)

This allows the user to query a specific bbdev PMD and get all the device capabilities. The rte_bbdev_info structure provides two levels of information:

  • Device relevant information, like: name and related rte_bus.
  • Driver specific information, as defined by the struct rte_bbdev_driver_info structure, this is where capabilities reside along with other specifics like: maximum queue sizes and priority level.
struct rte_bbdev_info {
    int socket_id;
    const char *dev_name;
    const struct rte_bus *bus;
    uint16_t num_queues;
    bool started;
    struct rte_bbdev_driver_info drv;

12.4. Operation Processing

Scheduling of baseband operations on DPDK’s application data path is performed using a burst oriented asynchronous API set. A queue on a bbdev device accepts a burst of baseband operations using enqueue burst API. On physical bbdev devices the enqueue burst API will place the operations to be processed on the device’s hardware input queue, for virtual devices the processing of the baseband operations is usually completed during the enqueue call to the bbdev device. The dequeue burst API will retrieve any processed operations available from the queue on the bbdev device, from physical devices this is usually directly from the device’s processed queue, and for virtual device’s from a rte_ring where processed operations are place after being processed on the enqueue call.

12.4.1. Enqueue / Dequeue Burst APIs

The burst enqueue API uses a bbdev device identifier and a queue identifier to specify the bbdev device queue to schedule the processing on. The num_ops parameter is the number of operations to process which are supplied in the ops array of rte_bbdev_*_op structures. The enqueue function returns the number of operations it actually enqueued for processing, a return value equal to num_ops means that all packets have been enqueued.

uint16_t rte_bbdev_enqueue_enc_ops(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id,
        struct rte_bbdev_enc_op **ops, uint16_t num_ops)

uint16_t rte_bbdev_enqueue_dec_ops(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id,
        struct rte_bbdev_dec_op **ops, uint16_t num_ops)

The dequeue API uses the same format as the enqueue API of processed but the num_ops and ops parameters are now used to specify the max processed operations the user wishes to retrieve and the location in which to store them. The API call returns the actual number of processed operations returned, this can never be larger than num_ops.

uint16_t rte_bbdev_dequeue_enc_ops(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id,
        struct rte_bbdev_enc_op **ops, uint16_t num_ops)

uint16_t rte_bbdev_dequeue_dec_ops(uint16_t dev_id, uint16_t queue_id,
        struct rte_bbdev_dec_op **ops, uint16_t num_ops)

12.4.2. Operation Representation

An encode bbdev operation is represented by rte_bbdev_enc_op structure, and by rte_bbdev_dec_op for decode. These structures act as metadata containers for all necessary information required for the bbdev operation to be processed on a particular bbdev device poll mode driver.

struct rte_bbdev_enc_op {
    int status;
    struct rte_mempool *mempool;
    void *opaque_data;
    struct rte_bbdev_op_turbo_enc turbo_enc;

struct rte_bbdev_dec_op {
    int status;
    struct rte_mempool *mempool;
    void *opaque_data;
    struct rte_bbdev_op_turbo_dec turbo_dec;

The operation structure by itself defines the operation type. It includes an operation status, a reference to the operation specific data, which can vary in size and content depending on the operation being provisioned. It also contains the source mempool for the operation, if it is allocated from a mempool.

If bbdev operations are allocated from a bbdev operation mempool, see next section, there is also the ability to allocate private memory with the operation for applications purposes.

Application software is responsible for specifying all the operation specific fields in the rte_bbdev_*_op structure which are then used by the bbdev PMD to process the requested operation.

12.4.3. Operation Management and Allocation

The bbdev library provides an API set for managing bbdev operations which utilize the Mempool Library to allocate operation buffers. Therefore, it ensures that the bbdev operation is interleaved optimally across the channels and ranks for optimal processing.

struct rte_mempool *
rte_bbdev_op_pool_create(const char *name, enum rte_bbdev_op_type type,
        unsigned int num_elements, unsigned int cache_size,
        int socket_id)

rte_bbdev_*_op_alloc_bulk() and rte_bbdev_*_op_free_bulk() are used to allocate bbdev operations of a specific type from a given bbdev operation mempool.

int rte_bbdev_enc_op_alloc_bulk(struct rte_mempool *mempool,
        struct rte_bbdev_enc_op **ops, uint16_t num_ops)

int rte_bbdev_dec_op_alloc_bulk(struct rte_mempool *mempool,
        struct rte_bbdev_dec_op **ops, uint16_t num_ops)

rte_bbdev_*_op_free_bulk() is called by the application to return an operation to its allocating pool.

void rte_bbdev_dec_op_free_bulk(struct rte_bbdev_dec_op **ops,
        unsigned int num_ops)
void rte_bbdev_enc_op_free_bulk(struct rte_bbdev_enc_op **ops,
        unsigned int num_ops)

12.4.4. BBDEV Operations

The bbdev operation structure contains all the mutable data relating to performing Turbo code processing on a referenced mbuf data buffer. It is used for either encode or decode operations.

Turbo Encode operation accepts one input and one output.

Turbo Decode operation accepts one input and two outputs, called hard-decision and soft-decision outputs. Soft-decision output is optional.

It is expected that the application provides input and output mbuf pointers allocated and ready to use. The baseband framework supports turbo coding on Code Blocks (CB) and Transport Blocks (TB).

For the output buffer(s), the application needs only to provide an allocated and free mbuf (containing only one mbuf segment), so that bbdev can write the operation outcome.

Turbo Encode Op structure

struct rte_bbdev_op_turbo_enc {
    struct rte_bbdev_op_data input;
    struct rte_bbdev_op_data output;

    uint32_t op_flags;
    uint8_t rv_index;
    uint8_t code_block_mode;
    union {
        struct rte_bbdev_op_enc_cb_params cb_params;
        struct rte_bbdev_op_enc_tb_params tb_params;

Turbo Decode Op structure

struct rte_bbdev_op_turbo_dec {
    struct rte_bbdev_op_data input;
    struct rte_bbdev_op_data hard_output;
    struct rte_bbdev_op_data soft_output;

    uint32_t op_flags;
    uint8_t rv_index;
    uint8_t iter_min:4;
    uint8_t iter_max:4;
    uint8_t iter_count;
    uint8_t ext_scale;
    uint8_t num_maps;
    uint8_t code_block_mode;
    union {
        struct rte_bbdev_op_dec_cb_params cb_params;
        struct rte_bbdev_op_dec_tb_params tb_params;

Input and output data buffers are identified by rte_bbdev_op_data structure. This structure has three elements:

  • data - This is the mbuf reference
  • offset - The starting point for the Turbo input/output, in bytes, from the start of the data in the data buffer. It must be smaller than data_len of the mbuf’s first segment
  • length - The length, in bytes, of the buffer on which the Turbo operation will or has been computed. For the input, the length is set by the application. For the output(s), the length is computed by the bbdev PMD driver.

12.5. Sample code

The baseband device sample application gives an introduction on how to use the bbdev framework, by giving a sample code performing a loop-back operation with a baseband processor capable of transceiving data packets.

The following sample C-like pseudo-code shows the basic steps to encode several buffers using (sw_trubo) bbdev PMD.

/* EAL Init */
ret = rte_eal_init(argc, argv);
if (ret < 0)
    rte_exit(EXIT_FAILURE, "Invalid EAL arguments\n");

/* Get number of available bbdev devices */
nb_bbdevs = rte_bbdev_count();
if (nb_bbdevs == 0)
    rte_exit(EXIT_FAILURE, "No bbdevs detected!\n");

/* Create bbdev op pools */
bbdev_op_pool[RTE_BBDEV_OP_TURBO_ENC] =
        RTE_BBDEV_OP_TURBO_ENC, NB_MBUF, 128, rte_socket_id());

/* Get information for this device */
rte_bbdev_info_get(dev_id, &info);

/* Setup BBDEV device queues */
ret = rte_bbdev_setup_queues(dev_id, qs_nb, info.socket_id);
if (ret < 0)
            "ERROR(%d): BBDEV %u not configured properly\n",
            ret, dev_id);

/* setup device queues */
qconf.socket = info.socket_id;
qconf.queue_size = info.drv.queue_size_lim;
qconf.op_type = RTE_BBDEV_OP_TURBO_ENC;

for (q_id = 0; q_id < qs_nb; q_id++) {
    /* Configure all queues belonging to this bbdev device */
    ret = rte_bbdev_queue_configure(dev_id, q_id, &qconf);
    if (ret < 0)
                "ERROR(%d): BBDEV %u queue %u not configured properly\n",
                ret, dev_id, q_id);

/* Start bbdev device */
ret = rte_bbdev_start(dev_id);

/* Create the mbuf mempool for pkts */
mbuf_pool = rte_pktmbuf_pool_create("bbdev_mbuf_pool",
        RTE_MBUF_DEFAULT_BUF_SIZE, rte_socket_id());
if (mbuf_pool == NULL)
            "Unable to create '%s' pool\n", pool_name);

while (!global_exit_flag) {

    /* Allocate burst of op structures in preparation for enqueue */
    if (rte_bbdev_enc_op_alloc_bulk(bbdev_op_pool[RTE_BBDEV_OP_TURBO_ENC],
        ops_burst, op_num) != 0)

    /* Allocate input mbuf pkts */
    ret = rte_pktmbuf_alloc_bulk(mbuf_pool, input_pkts_burst, MAX_PKT_BURST);
    if (ret < 0)

    /* Allocate output mbuf pkts */
    ret = rte_pktmbuf_alloc_bulk(mbuf_pool, output_pkts_burst, MAX_PKT_BURST);
    if (ret < 0)

    for (j = 0; j < op_num; j++) {
        /* Append the size of the ethernet header */
                sizeof(struct ether_hdr));

        /* set op */

        ops_burst[j]->turbo_enc.input.offset =
            sizeof(struct ether_hdr);

        ops_burst[j]->turbo_enc->input.length =

        ops_burst[j]->turbo_enc->input.data =

        ops_burst[j]->turbo_enc->output.offset =
            sizeof(struct ether_hdr);

        ops_burst[j]->turbo_enc->output.data =

    /* Enqueue packets on BBDEV device */
    op_num = rte_bbdev_enqueue_enc_ops(qconf->bbdev_id,
            qconf->bbdev_qs[q], ops_burst,

    /* Dequeue packets from BBDEV device*/
    op_num = rte_bbdev_dequeue_enc_ops(qconf->bbdev_id,
            qconf->bbdev_qs[q], ops_burst,

12.5.1. BBDEV Device API

The bbdev Library API is described in the DPDK API Reference document.