New Publication @ IEEE TMC: Hybrid P4 Programmable Pipelines for 5G gNodeB and User Plane Functions.

S. K. Singh, Rothenberg, C. E. Rothenberg, J. Langlet, A. Kassler, P. Vörös, L. Sándor and G. Pongrácz. “Hybrid P4 Programmable Pipelines for 5G gNodeB and User Plane Functions”. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. pp. 1-18, 2022.


This paper focuses on hybrid pipeline designs for User Plane Function and next-generation NodeB leveraging target-specific features and an insightful discussion of P4 and target challenges and limitations. The entire or disaggregated UPF runs on P4 targets and allocates packet processing data paths in P4 hardware or DPDK/x86 software based on flow characteristics (e.g., heavy hitters) and QoS requirements (e.g., low-latency slices). For the hybrid gNodeB, most packet processing is executed in commodity Tofino hardware, while unsupported functions such as Automatic Repeat Request and cryptography are performed in DPDK/x86. We show that our hybrid UPF improves the scalability by 18× and reduces latency up to 50%. The results also suggest that careful traffic allocation to pipeline targets is required to optimize each target’s strength and avoid processing delays. Finally, we demonstrate a QoS-oriented application of the hybrid UPF and present gNodeB buffer service benchmarks.

Published in:  IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 2022.
Date of Publication: 25 August 2022

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