Terminator 5 ASIC

40 Gigabit Ethernet iWARP RDMA, iSCSI, TOE, FCoE NIC Engine

The Terminator 5 (T5) is Chelsio’s fifth generation ASIC.   A highly integrated, hyper-virtualized 10/40GbE controller, the T5 is built around a programmable protocol-processing engine, with full offload of a complete Unified Wire solution comprising NIC, TOE, iWARP RDMA, iSCSI, FCoE and NAT support.  The  T5 provides no-compromise performance with both low latency (1usec through hardware) and high bandwidth, limited only by the PCI bus. Furthermore, it scales true 40Gb line rate operation from a single TCP connection to thousands of connections, and allows simultaneous low latency and high bandwidth operation thanks to multiple physical channels through the ASIC.

Designed for high performance clustering, storage and data networks, the T5 enables fabric consolidation by simultaneously supporting wire-speed TCP/IP and UDP/IP socket applications, RDMA applications and SCSI applications, thereby allowing InfiniBand and FibreChannel applications to run unmodified over standard Ethernet.  The API used for the complete software suite (on Linux, Windows and FSBD) for current T4 installations is the same for the T5 chip and future 100Gb capable versions, leveraging all the software investment that has been made in T4 deployments.

Chelsio T5 ASIC Architecture

T5 block diagram


The T5 ASIC is built around a highly scalable and programmable protocol-processing engine.  Much of the processing of the offloaded protocols is implemented in microcode running on a pipelined proprietary data-flow engine.  The pipeline supports cut-through operation for both transmit and receive paths for minimum latency.  The transport processor is designed for wire-speed operation at small packet sizes, regardless of the number of TCP connections.

Some key features of the T5:

  • Integrated PCI Express v3.0 x8 host interface
  • 2xDDR-3 memory interfaces
  • 4x100M/1G/10G or 2x40G ports
  • Designed for very low latency, highbandwidth and high packet processing rate
  • TOE/iWARP RDMA/iSCSI/FCoE port to port, and adapter to adapter failover
  • SR-IOV 8PF/128VF + VEPA/VEB 802.1Qbg/h offload virtualization
  • Integrated OpenFlow ready virtual Ethernet switch
  • T10-DIF/DIX protection support for both FCoE and iSCSI