Broadcom makes available open source software development kit

Broadcom recently announced the immediate availability of an open source software development kit (SDK), dubbed SDKLT, for Ethernet switch application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

Based on the BCM56960 Tomahawk switch, the SDKLT provides a way to configure Ethernet switch ASICs and is intended to boost the development of network infrastructure. With the open source code currently available on GitHub, users can customize their switch APIs.

Broadcom announced it was making programmable switches available in June 2017, providing support for protocol parsing, and processing and editing for service function chaining, network virtualization and software-defined forwarding. The company said that providing an open source SDK marks a major step toward an entirely open networking ecosystem.

“We are delighted to announce another industry first with our fully open source SDKLT to accelerate the development and deployment of Broadcom’s switch silicon,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager of switching products at Broadcom. “SDKLT brings a fresh, state-of-the-art software development approach to the broader community of network software developers where they can now fully and directly control and monitor the rich switch feature set optimized for SDN and cloud use cases.”

In particular, the SDKLT adopts a logical table-based approach to simplify the configuration of contemporary Ethernet switch silicon. Under this approach, physical resources like MAC Address Tables and L3 route tables are present as logical tables rather than specific function calls. This provides data center operators with more control over their infrastructure resources, according to the company.

Key features of the SDKLT include: open source code and the logical table APIs released under Apache 2.0 license, performance optimized architecture, full device provisioning and control through automation, flexible transaction management, among others.

“Broadcom’s SDKLT offers a novel approach to device programming,” said Atsushi Ogata, president and CEO of IP Infusion. “As a strategic partner of Broadcom, IP Infusion is embracing this new approach as it gives the freedom to choose your own software implementation of Broadcom devices. The Logical Table APIs offered by SDKLT brings a new dimension on how we develop device-specific implementation of control plane protocols. The multi-threading and batching capabilities of SDKLT will help networks achieve higher performance and scalability, which are important for our OcNOS network operating system in the service provider market.”

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