XDP-based SmartNIC hardware performance acceleration for next-generation networks

Pablo Salva-Garcia*, Ruben Ricart-Sanchez, Enrique Chirivella-Perez, Qi Wang, Jose M. Alcaraz-Calero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Next-generation networks are expected to combine advanced physical and digital technologies in super-high-speed connected system infrastructures, gaining critical operation competitiveness of improved efficiency, productivity and quality of services. Towards a fully digital and connected world, these platforms will enable infrastructure virtualization and support of edge processing, making emerging sectors, such as Industry 4.0, ready to exploit its full potentials. Nevertheless, the fast growth of data-centric and automated systems may exceed the capabilities of the overall infrastructure beyond the radio access networks, becoming unable to fulfil the demands of vertical sectors and representing a bottleneck. To minimize the negative effects that could affect critical services in a heavily loaded network, it is essential for network providers to deploy highly scalable and prioritisable in-network optimisation schemes to meet industry expectations in next-generation networks. To this end, this work presents a novel framework that leverages extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) and eXpress Data Path (XDP) to offload network functions to reduce unnecessary overhead in the backbone infrastructure. The proposed solution is envisioned to be implemented as a Network Application (NetApp) service, which will greatly benefit the compatibility with next-generation networking ecosystem empowered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced automation, multi-domain network slicing, and other related technologies. The achieved results demonstrate key performance improvements in terms of packet processing capacity as high as about 18 million packets per second (Mpps), system throughput up to 6.1 Mpps with 0% of packet loss, and illustrate the flexibility of the framework to adapt to multiple network policy rules dynamically on demand.
Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalJournal of Network and Systems Management
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2022


  • 5G/6G networks
  • traffic engineering
  • hardware acceleration
  • offloading
  • XDP
  • BPF
  • programmable networking


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