|The TCP Offload Engine (TOE) is a technology employed on the Terminator Seriers (Terminator 4 (T4) and Terminator 5 (T5)) adapters to offload the processing of the TCP/IP stack via TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) on the network interface card (NIC) and remove it from the host machine. TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) technology has several advantages: first, by offloading TCP/IP or doing all the processing required of the TCP/IP stack via TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) on the NIC, it frees up the CPU for other useful work; second, with the offload/processing being done on the card, it eliminates some of the data transfers required since the card acts on the data locally. All the host processor needs to do is open the connection and the TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) on the NIC will take it from there.
Having considered the various typical arguments against TCP Offload Engine (TOE ), and argued why Chelsio’s approach avoids the pitfalls at the root of these arguments, it is important to discuss the actual performance impact of offloading the TCP/IP stack via TCP Offload Engine (TOE ). Chelsio’s Terminator TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) is the first and currently unique 10 Gbps / 10GbE and 40Gbps / 40GbE TCP Offload Engine (TOE ).
The ability of a TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) is to perform the full transport layer functionality which is essential to obtaining tangible benefits. The important aspect of the transport layer is it being the process-to-process layer, i.e. the data passed to the TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) comes straight from the application process, and the data delivered by the TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) is ready to be passed to the application process. In contrast, lower layers only provide unreliable delivery functionality, which limits the usability of the data at these levels. This opens the way for very powerful extensions to pure protocol offload based on TCP Offload Engine (TOE ), including:
The Terminator series ( Terminator 4 (T4) and Terminator 5 (T5) ) adapters can offload TCP/IP via TCP Offload Engine (TOE ) processing per connection, per-server, per-interface, and globally and simultaneously tunnel traffic from non-offloaded connections to the host processor for the native TCP/IP stack to process. The Terminator series adapters provides a flexible zero copy capability for regular TCP connections, requiring no changes to the sender, to deliver line rate performance at minimal CPU utilization.
The following platforms are supported:-