Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCmpE)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Advisor

David Andrews

Committee Member

Christophe Bobda

Second Committee Member

Dale R. Thompson

Keywords

Applied sciences; Bluespec SystemVerilog; Ethernet; FPGA; RDMA; Xilinx Kintex

Abstract

Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is the transfer of data into buffers between two compute nodes that does not require the involvement of a CPU or Operating System (OS). The idea is borrowed from Direct Memory Access (DMA) which allows memory within a compute node to be transferred without transiting through the CPU. RDMA is termed a zero-copy protocol as it eliminates the need to copy data between buffers within the protocol stack. Because of this and other features, RDMA promotes reliable, high throughput and low latency transfer for packet-switched networking. While the benefits of RMDA are well known and available within the general purpose and high performance computing community, only a few open source and portable RDMA capabilities exists for the FPGA community. Within the limited availability of solutions for FPGAs, many rely on standard Internet Protocol. This thesis presents an open source and portable RMDA core that enables line rate scaling for data transfer over packet-switched networks over Ethernet for the FPGA community. An RDMA protocol in which the currency is Datagrams is designed, implemented and tested between two Xilinx FPGA's over a Layer 2 switch. The implementation does not rely on an Internet Protocol and is portable, simple and lightweight. Latency, throughput and area will be reported and discussed. To foster portability, the core was designed and implemented in Bluespec SystemVerilog and does not utilize any vendor specific technologies.

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