2008 Poster Sessions : NetFPGA - An Open Platform for Gigabit-Rate Network Switching and Routing

Student Name : John Lockwood
Advisor : Nick McKeown
Research Areas: Computer Systems
The NetFPGA enables researchers and students to build working prototypes of high-speed, hardware-accelerated networking systems. The NetFPGA has been used in the classroom to teach students how to build Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) switches andInternet Prototcol (IP) routers that use hardware rather than software to forward packets. The NetFPGA hardware can be used by researchers to prototype new types of clean-slate services for next-generation networks. The NetFPGA supports multiple usage models that allow a user to build a hardware-accelerated router with as little or as much customization as they desire.

The NetFPGA hardware includes a user-programmable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and parallel banks of Static RAM (SRAM) and DDR2 Dynamic RAM (DRAM). Packets can be sent to and from all four GigE ports at wire speed. Programming, control, and monitoring of the the platform are performed by the host over the PCI bus. The hardware platform is available now from Digilent Inc. The NetFPGA is implemented as a project with an open-source hardware, open-source gateware, and open-source software. Developers can review and contribute to the source code of the projects as they see fit.

John W. Lockwood designs and implements networking systems in reconfigurable hardware. He serves as a Consulting Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in California. At Stanford, he is developing and promoting new applications for the NetFPGA Platform. He has published over 100 papers in journals and technical conferences that describe technologies for providing extensible network services, Quality of Service (QoS), and security in high-speed computer networks and wireless LANs.

Prior to joining Stanford in January of 2007, Lockwood led the Reconfigurable Network Group, which was a part of the Applied Research Laboratory at Washington University in Saint Louis. At Washington University, He was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering Lockwood and his research group developed the Field programmable Port Extender (FPX) to enable rapid prototype of extensible network modules in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology.