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An Open Source Kickstarter SDN project based on Zynq? For $649? Wowzers!

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
0 1 94.2K

There have been many successful Xilinx-based Kickstarter projects but MeshSr’s Zynq-based ONetSwitch Open Source SDN Platform certainly looks to be one of the most innovative yet. It’s based on the Xilinx Zynq Z-7030 SoC, which equips the project with a 1GHz, dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and 125,000 Kintex-7 logic cells. The Zynq SoC makes an excellent hardware target for SDN developers; you can build a lot from those building blocks. The packed ONetSwitch board also includes four 1Gbps Ethernet ports—very appropriate for an SDN platform.


Here’s a block diagram of the ONet Switch board:



ONetSwitch Block Diagram.jpg




And here’s a photo of the board:



ONetSwitch Board Photo.jpg 



ONetSwitch Device Callout.jpg


MeshSr has a modest goal of raising $50,000 for this project. At $649 per board ($499 if you hurry!), that’s only 77 backers—people who might like a very low cost SDN development platform that comes with its own developers’ group. A $699 version of the board increases the on-board DDR3 SDRAM from 2Gbytes to 3Gbytes.


What can you do with this board? Glad you asked. MeshSr already has four reference designs listed on its GitHub page:


  • NIC: A host running Linux with all Ethernet ports as its NICs.
  • Switch: A traditional Layer 2 switch, running without Linux.
  • OpenFlowSwitch(SW): A vSwitch running OpenFlow, simply on a host with NIC.
  • OpenFlowSwitch(HW): A hardware accelerated OFS, with both HW and SW flow tables.


Early availability of these SDN reference designs indicates the power of having an open-source SDN hardware development platform like the ONetSwitch board.


The funding period for this Kickstarter project ends on April 9. With SDN’s popularity ascending, I expect this project will be fully funded in short order. If you’re working in the SDN world, go check it out. You’re not likely to find a better bargain in an SDN development platform.



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