5. MLX5 vDPA driver
The MLX5 vDPA (vhost data path acceleration) driver library (librte_vdpa_mlx5) provides support for Mellanox ConnectX-6, Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx and Mellanox BlueField families of 10/25/40/50/100/200 Gb/s adapters as well as their virtual functions (VF) in SR-IOV context.
This driver is enabled automatically when using “meson” build system which will detect dependencies.
For security reasons and robustness, this driver only deals with virtual memory addresses. The way resources allocations are handled by the kernel, combined with hardware specifications that allow to handle virtual memory addresses directly, ensure that DPDK applications cannot access random physical memory (or memory that does not belong to the current process).
The PMD can use libibverbs and libmlx5 to access the device firmware or directly the hardware components. There are different levels of objects and bypassing abilities to get the best performances:
Verbs is a complete high-level generic API
Direct Verbs is a device-specific API
DevX allows to access firmware objects
Direct Rules manages flow steering at low-level hardware layer
Enabling librte_vdpa_mlx5 causes DPDK applications to be linked against libibverbs.
A Mellanox mlx5 PCI device can be probed by either net/mlx5 driver or vdpa/mlx5
driver but not in parallel. Hence, the user should decide the driver by the
class parameter in the device argument list.
By default, the mlx5 device will be probed by the net/mlx5 driver.
5.2. Supported NICs
Mellanox® ConnectX®-6 200G MCX654106A-HCAT (2x200G)
Mellanox® ConnectX®-6 Dx EN 25G MCX621102AN-ADAT (2x25G)
Mellanox® ConnectX®-6 Dx EN 100G MCX623106AN-CDAT (2x100G)
Mellanox® ConnectX®-6 Dx EN 200G MCX623105AN-VDAT (1x200G)
Mellanox® BlueField SmartNIC 25G MBF1M332A-ASCAT (2x25G)
Mellanox OFED version: 5.0 see MLX5 poll mode driver guide for more Mellanox OFED details.
5.3.1. Compilation option
The meson option
ibverbs_link is shared by default,
but can be configured to have the following values:
Build PMD with additional code to make it loadable without hard dependencies on libibverbs nor libmlx5, which may not be installed on the target system.
In this mode, their presence is still required for it to run properly, however their absence won’t prevent a DPDK application from starting (with DPDK shared build disabled) and they won’t show up as missing with
It works by moving these dependencies to a purpose-built rdma-core “glue” plug-in which must be installed in a directory whose name is based on
This option has no performance impact.
Embed static flavor of the dependencies libibverbs and libmlx5 in the PMD shared library or the executable static binary.
Default armv8a configuration of meson build sets
to 128 then brings performance degradation.
5.3.2. Run-time configuration
ethtool operations on related kernel interfaces also affect the PMD.
188.8.131.52. Driver options
Select the class of the driver that should probe the device. vdpa for the mlx5 vDPA driver.
0, Completion queue scheduling will be managed by a timer thread which automatically adjusts its delays to the coming traffic rate.
1, Completion queue scheduling will be managed by a timer thread with fixed delay time.
2, Completion queue scheduling will be managed by interrupts. Each CQ burst arms the CQ in order to get an interrupt event in the next traffic burst.
Default mode is 0.
Per mode micro-seconds parameter - relevant only for event mode 0 and 1:
0, A nonzero value to set timer step in micro-seconds. The timer thread dynamic delay change steps according to this value. Default value is 1us.
1, A nonzero value to set fixed timer delay in micro-seconds. Default value is 100us.
A nonzero value defines the traffic off time, in seconds, that moves the driver to no-traffic mode. In this mode the timer events are stopped and interrupts are configured to the device in order to notify traffic for the driver. Default value is 2s.
184.108.40.206. Error handling
Upon potential hardware errors, mlx5 PMD try to recover, give up if failed 3 times in 3 seconds, virtq will be put in disable state. User should check log to get error information, or query vdpa statistics counter to know error type and count report.