RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) - An Efficient, Low-cost, Zero Copy Implementation

Remote Direct Memory Management (RDMA) is the remote memory management capability that allows server to server data movement directly between application memory without any CPU involvement. RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) is a mechanism to provide this efficient data transfer with very low latencies on lossless Ethernet networks. With advances in data center convergence over reliable Ethernet, Mellanox’s NICs with RoCE uses the proven and efficient RDMA transport to provide the platform for deploying RDMA technology in mainstream data center application at 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE, 56GbE and 100GbE link-speed. The Mellanox NICs with its hardware offload support takes advantage of this efficient RDMA transport (InfiniBand) services over Ethernet to deliver ultra-low latency for performance-critical and transaction intensive applications such as financial, data base, storage, and content delivery networks.
Mellanox adapter cards (ConnectX-3 Pro and onward) support RoCE which allows RDMA to be used across both L2 and L3 networks thanks to IP and UDP headers.
The ConnectX-4 adapter card family introduces new software drivers for RoCE, designed to simplify RDMA deployments on Ethernet networks and enable high-end performance using RoCE, without requiring the network to be configured for lossless operation. This enables cloud, storage, and enterprise customers to deploy RoCE quickly and easily while accelerating application performance, improving infrastructure efficiency and reducing cost.


RoCE can be implemented in the hardware as well as in the software. Mellanox adapters include hardware implementation of RoCE to deliver the highest performance and efficiency. Soft-RoCE is the software implementation of the RoCE standard and compatible with any standard Ethernet networks.

  • Operates in Lossy fabric
  • A low cost, low power solution for performance centric Data Center applications
  • Traffic Classification at the Link Layer (layer 2) improving network efficiency
  • Lowest latency of 1.3 microseconds on lossless Ethernet
  • RDMA Transport offload with zero copy for low CPU utilization
  • Improves performance in financial, datawarehouse, data mining, storage, data base, Web 2.0 and Business intelligence applications
  • Ethernet management infrastructure can be leveraged “as-is”
  • Single Ethernet wire for IPC, LAN and SAN to complete Ethernet convergence
  • Transcends L3 networks
  • Support IP Mulitcast
  • IBTA 2.0 RoCE standards compliant
  • Supports IEEE 802.1Qau, 802.1Qbb and, 802.1Qaz (DCB) standards
  • OFED verbs compliant with OFED software stack interoperability
  • RoE utilizes mature RDMA transport layer based on IBTA specification
  • Traffic differentiation at Link Layer with IEEE defined ether-type
  • SNMP based network management with MIB II support
  • Interoperable with any industry standard 10GbE or 40GbE (DCB) switches in a large cluster
The Soft-RoCE distribution is available at: