BlueField™ Software Overview

Mellanox provides software that enables users to fully utilize the BlueField SoC and enjoy the rich feature-set it provides. Using the BlueField software packages users will be able to:

  • Quickly and easily boot an initial Linux image on your development board.
  • Port existing applications to and develop new applications for BlueField.
  • Patch, configure, rebuild, update or otherwise customize your image.
  • Debug, profile, and tune your development system using open source development tools and taking advantage of the diverse and vibrant ARM ecosystem.

The BlueField family of SoC devices combine an array of 64-bit ARMv8 A72 cores coupled with the ConnectX interconnect. Standard Linux distributions run on the ARM cores thus allowing common open source development tools to be used. Developers will find the programming environment familiar and intuitive which in turn allows them to quickly and efficiently design, implement and verify their control-plane and data-plane applications.


BlueOS™ ships with the Mellanox BlueField Reference Platform. BlueOS is a reference Linux distribution based on the Yocto Poky distribution and extended to include the Mellanox OFED stack for ARM and a Linux kernel that supports NVMe-oF. BlueOS is capable of running all customer-based Linux applications seamlessly. Yocto also provides an SDK which contains an extremely flexible cross-build environment allowing software targeted for the BlueField SoC to build on virtually any x86 server running any Linux distribution.

Other software elements that are delivered with BlueField SoC are:

  • ARM Trusted Firmware (ATF) for BlueField
  • UEFI for BlueField
  • OpenBMC for BMC (ASPEED 2500) found on development board
  • Hardware Diagnostics
  • Mellanox OFED stack
  • Mellanox MFT

Debug tools

BlueField SoC includes hardware support for the ARM DS5 suite as well as CoreSight™ debug & trace. As such, a wide range of commercial off-the-shelf ARM debug tools can work seamlessly with BlueField. The BlueField SoC also supports the ubiquitous GDB debugger.

Commercial distributions

Mellanox is working with its partners to support common commercial Linux distributions.

Applications

BlueField Adapter/SmartNIC

The BlueField Smart NIC is shipped with BlueOS pre-installed. The BlueField adapter ARM execution environment is fully isolated from the x86 host and uses a dedicated network management interface (separate from the x86 host’s management interface). The ARM cores can run the Open vSwitch Database (OVSDB) or other virtual switches to create a secure solution for bare metal provisioning. The software package also includes support for DPDK as well as applications for encryption and a stateful L4-based firewall.

BlueField based Storage Appliance

Mellanox BlueOS provides the foundation for building a JBOF (Just a Bunch Of Flash) storage system including NVMe-oF target Software, PCIe Switch support, NVDIMM-N Support and NVMe disk hot-swap support. BlueOS allows enabling Mellanox ConnectX offload such as RDMA/RoCE, T10 DIF signature offload, erasure coding offload, iSER, Storage Spaces Direct and more.