Freescale announced Vortiqa, a set of SDN software and interfaces for its QorIQ chips supporting Layer 4-7 functions using Openflow 1.3.X. Vortiqa includes an embedded SDN controller implemented in C, a director, and support for network applications such as Linux IPsec.
"We've seen a substantial increase in enthusiasm about SDN in the last 6-8 months, with types of questions we are getting about trial and pilot deployments," said Mike O'Donnell, a director of software business development at Freescale. "When customers can see how to take advantage of SDN with their own apps, [that] is where SDN will start to grow."
Vortiqa runs on Linux using accelerators embedded in Freescale's QorIQ chips. This year, the company plans to roll out the first of its Layerscape platforms optimized for SDN, O'Donnell said.
Freescale's Vortiqa includes or links QorIQ chips to an SDN controller.
The Open Networking Foundation behind OpenFlow has already published its version 1.4, which is said to define 42 match fields, enabling a broad set of networking actions. It has also started work on a version 1.5 and expects more extensions to 1.3.x, mainly to support silicon requirements.
ONF created an advisory board of chip makers last year. It also started a Forwarding Abstractions Working Group to define a sort of universal OpenFlow interface to silicon.
"I don't see that as a critical piece of the puzzle," Wheeler said. "Every silicon vendor has an API already, and to create a standard abstraction layer, you need to take the least common denominator, so all vendors would implement some sort of shim anyway."
The OpenFlow work runs in parallel with a similar effort aimed at carriers in Europe's ETSI group on Network Function Virtualization. The SDN and NFV approaches can be implemented independently or in tandem based on network operator requirements.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times