Host Packet Buffer (HPB)

In order to support multi-core CPUs and multithreaded host applications, ANIC adapters utilize a flexible host packet buffer (HPB) technique. Host memory is segmented into a number of fixed size blocks. The block size is configurable but is typically 2MB or 4MB each. A collection of these host memory blocks is then dynamically pooled together to form a host packet buffer.

A specific application thread (often tied to a CPU core) is then explicitly assigned or linked to a given HPB and will only process data that is transferred into its own HPB. Up to 64 independent HPBs can be created (per ANIC adapter) and in turn assigned to up to 64 host application threads.


The memory blocks (typically 2MB or 4MB in size) assigned to a host packet buffer (HPB) do not have to be contiguous. In other words, each HPB is composed of blocks of host memory that are randomly spread out in various areas of physical memory. In addition, memory blocks are temporarily assigned to a given HPB by the ANIC adapter and once an application thread has finished processing all the data from a given memory block, that block can be assigned to a different HPB.

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