Dynamically Reconfigurable Network Interface Framework
As network speeds increase beyond 10 Gb/s, software-based implementations of network functions are unable to keep pace. There exists the need for network interfaces that can be easily reconfigured at the hardware level to provide the user with any desired functionality, from real time intrusion detection to remote visualization. This project will develop a framework for an adaptable Network Interface Controller (NIC) to remove the bottlenecks present in current network/computer system architectures. Phase I involved a feasibility study of the framework, including consideration of potential target physical devices and development of sample applications. A virtual network machine was defined, a network application program interface was produced, code samples were generated, and initial hardware prototyping was undertaken. In Phase II, the initial framework baseline specification will be expanded and used to demonstrate a comprehensive hardware prototype. Finally, a client configuration application, which demonstrates local and remote reconfiguration of the network interface and its plug-in modules, will be produced. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The NIC framework should remove the end-user bottlenecks present in high-speed data transmission, by allowing users to transition from software-based network implementations to much faster on-card hardware-based solutions. The framework will provide an extremely flexible platform for a variety of applications ranging from high-speed client interfaces to supercomputing. Applications include high-performance networking, security, storage area networks, and supercomputing.
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