Silicom FPGA SmartNIC N6010/6011

General Details

Flexible Multi-port Ethernet Intel® AgileX Based SmartNIC

The Silicom FPGA SmartNIC N6010/N6011 is a high-performance OEM hardware platform intended for hardware acceleration for mobile 4G and 5G Baseband Units or Distributed Units with two QSFP28 modules. Example: supports up to 4 100MHz carriers Radio Units via 4x 25G eCPRI/CPRI with SFP28 modules, as well as interfacing to a Grand master via QSFP28 at 10/25G.

The card is based on an Intel® AgileX AGFB014, which embeds a Hard Processor System (HPS) with four 64-bit Application Processing Units (ARM Cortex-A53) along with a powerful Programmable Logic  part.

The design is set to work in ORAN LLS-C1 and C2 with the intention to be utilized with a 4G/5G IP stack interfacing at 3GPP functional split options 6 for CPRI or 7.2x for eCPRI.

The Silicom FPGA SmartNIC N6011 is supported by the Intel® Open FPGA Stack (IOFS). The Intel OFS FPGA Interface Manager (FIM) provides a common developer interface to both application and acceleration function developers and includes drivers, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and an FPGA factory image.

Silicom validates each FPGA SmartNIC N6010/N6011 to support large scale deployments requiring FPGA acceleration. This platform is targeted for market-specific acceleration in applications listed below:


Key Use Cases

  • 4G/5G vRAN Acceleration
  • Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
  • Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC)
  • Video Transcoding
  • Cyber Security
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Finance
Key features

Silicom FPGA SmartNIC N601x

  • Intel® Agilex® FPGA
  • Intel® e810-CAM2 NIC (N6011 only)
  • 2 x 100 GbE/4 x 25GbE/8 x 10GbE
  • PCIe v4 x 8 (x16 physical)

Network Interface

IEEE standard
  • IEEE 802.3 10GE, 25GE, 100GE
  • Physical interface: 2 x QSFP28/56 slots
  • Supports QSFP28/56 modules with Multimode SR (850nm), single mode LR (1310nm), multimode LRM (1310 nm)
  • Data rate: Each module 100G, 4x25G, 4x10G
  • Support for SyncE


  • 2x100GbE, using QSFP28/56
  • PCIe 4.0 x 16 (N6011 is bifurcated x8, x8)
  • Support for SMBUS


General Technical Specifications

NIC details (N6011 only) Intel® E810-CAM2

  • Interfaces to PCIe 4.0 x8
  • Supports 2x100GE (active/protect), 4x25GE and 8x10GE
FPGA Details Intel® AgilexAGFB014

  • 1.4M Logic Element Fabric
  • Provides Ethernet or Ethernet and Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) interface over QSFP28/56 ports
  • P-Tile – Provides PCIe Gen4 x8 interface to the host
  • Hard Processor System (HPS)
  • DDR4 Memory controllers interfacing to the FPGA fabric
  • Platform Management Communications Interface (PMCI) module
  • Configuration flash can be made to support multiple boot images for automatic fallback to factory default image
  • Upload of FPGA configuration to flash via PCIe
  • Direct FPGA configuration via the onboard JTAG dongle
On-board Memory
  • 8 GB DDR4 memory, with ECC (2 channels)
  • 8 GB DDR4 memory, without ECC (2 channels)
  • 1 GB DDR4 memory for HPS
  • 280 MB Flash memory for non-volatile storage
On-board Clock
  • PCIe clock: 100 MHz
  • 8 output reprogrammable clock generator
  • Supports network synchronization
Additional Board Support
  • On-board power and temperature sensors (via SMBus/I2C)
  • FPGA controlled Link and Activity LED for each port. 2 for each QSFP28
  • Board status LEDs
  • FPGA Reset via host I2C
  • Full height, ½ length 111.28 x 167.65 mm with bracket
  • Storage temperature: -40 – 65°C   -40 – 149°F
  • Operating temperature (card inlet): -5 – 50°C, 23 – 122°F
  • Operating humidity: 5 – 85%
  • Hardware compliance: RoHS, FCC, CE
  • Max 125W, above 75W PCIe AUX power must be used
  • Passive cooling
  • Power and temperature monitoring via SMBus/I2C
  • PCIe AUX power connector available
Manageability Features
  • Full card BMC solution host communication via SMBus (PLDM)
  • FPGA image remote update capability
  • Full security implementation using MAX10 FPGA as RoT
  • A configurable packet processor IP core
  • Extensive configuration API
  • Packet forwarding and bridging across network, main host and SoC
  • Parsing, match and action operations
  • Bandwidth rate limit
Hardware Acceleration
  • SR-IOV, 256 virtual functions
  • 32 physical functions
Software Support
  • Open FPGA Stack (IOFS)
  • Contrail
  • OVS
  • SRv6
  • vFW acceleration
  • 4G and 5G vRAN enablement package
  • DPDK
  • BBDev
  • FlexRAN
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