Thursday, April 28th
2:30 PM-
C-202: Academic Session (Academic Track)
Paper Title: NanoPU: A Nanosecond Network Stack for Data Centers

Paper Abstract: We present the nanoPU, a new NIC-CPU co-design to accelerate an increasingly pervasive class of datacenter applications: those that utilize many small Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs) with very short (μs-scale) processing times. The novel aspect of the nanoPU is the design of a fast path between the network and applications—bypassing the cache and memory hierarchy, and placing arriving messages directly into the CPU register file. This fast path contains programmable hardware support for low latency transport and congestion control as well as hardware support for efficient load balancing of RPCs to cores. A hardware-accelerated thread scheduler makes sub-nanosecond decisions, leading to high CPU utilization and low tail response time for RPCs. We built an FPGA prototype of the nanoPU fast path by modifying an open-source RISC-V CPU, and evaluated its per- formance using cycle-accurate simulations on AWS FPGAs. The wire-to-wire RPC response time through the nanoPU is just 69ns, an order of magnitude quicker than the best-of- breed, low latency, commercial NICs.

Paper Author: Stephen Ibanez, Researcher, Intel

Author Bio: Stephen Ibanez recently completed his PhD at Stanford University advised by Professor Nick McKeown. He is a researcher at Intel.