Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:November 3, 2021

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The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

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Updated:November 3, 2021


High-density network application card

The Cisco Nexus® V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC is an FPGA-based network application card, specifically optimized for low-latency and high-density data center applications.

The Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC adapters are equipped with a powerful 16nm Xilinx Virtex UltraScale Plus (VU5P) FPGA with up to 1.3M logic cells, packaged into a compact, production ready, half-height half-length, PCIe 8x form factor.

High-capacity, low-latency memory

An extensive memory hierarchy for complex, memory intensive applications.

The Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC includes 36Mbit of block RAM and 133Mbit of UltraRAM on chip for low-latency access. The Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC incorporates an additional 18MB of QDR IV SRAM (30ns access latency using Cisco Nexus QDR controller IP1), and 9GB of DDR4 DRAM for high throughput access. The DRAM is accessible via a 72 bit wide bus for maximum performance.

High-bandwidth connectivity

Dual QSFP28 ports provide up to 200Gbps of full duplex connectivity.

The dual QSFP28 cages offer high-speed 2x40GbE or 2x100GbE connectivity. Using QSFP/QSFP28 breakout cables expands the connectivity to 8x10GbE/25GbE connections. This high-density connectivity enables a range of high-performance, directly connected network applications, bypassing the need for traditional switching and multiplexing requirements.

Extensive IP library

Cisco is a specialist in low-latency, high-performance FPGA IP cores.

We provide to you the same high-speed, low-latency IP blocks used in our industry-leading products, including:

      10GbE PCS/MAC with ultra-low latency performance.

      Low-latency, high-throughput PCIe (Gen 3) DMA engine.

      Timing, signaling, and register interfaces, including I2C

      Packet field extractor and frame multiplexer (with source code)

      Asynchronous FIFO and CDC modules (with source code)

Several example designs are also provided to help get design work started and completed quickly.

Integrated software library

A standard Linux driver as well as transparent TCP and UDP acceleration and low-level packet access.

Like all SmartNICs, the Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC functions out of the box as a high-performance network adapter. The entire SmartNIC software library is available including the sockets application acceleration system and the libexanic direct userspace accesses API. Libexanic provides easy support for low-latency packet TX/RX, managing the FPGA state (through register access), and low-latency TCP/UDP-delegated sending operations for hybrid hardware/software applications. The Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC also supports fast and easy firmware updates (without requiring reboots), and vital statistics monitoring (temperatures, voltages, light levels, fans, etc.).

Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC

Figure 1.            

Cisco Nexus V5P FPGA Application SmartNIC


16nm Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ FPGA:

      XCVU5P-2 (A2104)

      1.3M System Logic Cells, 1.2M CLBs

      36Mb total block RAM

      133Mb UltraRAM

      16x 32.75Gb/s transceivers (8 connected to QSFPs, 8 connected to PCIe)



      Dual 36-bit interface, up to 1066MHz

      30ns read using Cisco IP



      72-bit interface, up to 2666MHz


      161MHz crystal

      10MHz temperature compensated crystal

      10MHz – 750Hz programmable (I2C) crystal


      PPS in/out via MCX connector, 3.3V CMOS, selectable 50ohm termination

      8x 1.8V CMOS GPIO via header

      2x bi-color port LEDs

      12V external supply (GPU adapter) for >25W designs


      Software-based PCIe flash programming utility

      Easy access, front panel USB to JTAG port

      JTAG header on board (auto select)

      1Gbit onboard flash (space for 2x full images)



      6.2ns (min) @ 10Gbps

      1Gbps/100Mbps also supported


      Packet trigger, 34ns (min)2

      Full loopback, 50ns (min)

Software latency (raw frame, ½RTT)1:

      64 bytes – 810ns

      256 bytes – 1030ns


Form factor:

      Low-profile PCI Express Card

      168x69mm (6.6x2.7in)


      SmartNIC operating temperature: 0 °C to 55 °C

      SmartNIC storage temperature: -40 °C to 70 °C

      FPGA operating temperature: 0 °C to 100 °C

      Operating Relative Humidity: 5% to 90% (non-condensing)

      Storage Relative Humidity: 5% to 95% (non-condensing)


      2x QSFP28

      SMA for PPS in/out

      USB to JTAG

Host interface:

      PCIe x8 Gen 3 @ 8.0 GT/s per lane

Data rates:3

      100GbE, 50GbE, 40GbE, 25GbE, 10GbE, 1GbE, 100M Fast Ethernet

Supported media:

      Fiber (100GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-LR4, 40GBASE-SR4, 40GBASE-LR4), QSFP/28 Direct Attach breakout

Operating systems:

      Linux x86_64 (all distributions)

Cisco environmental sustainability

Information about Cisco’s environmental sustainability policies and initiatives for our products, solutions, operations, and extended operations or supply chain is provided in the “Environment Sustainability” section of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

Reference links to information about key environmental sustainability topics (mentioned in the “Environment Sustainability” section of the CSR Report) are provided in the following table:

Sustainability topic


Information on product material content laws and regulations


Information on electronic waste laws and regulations, including products, batteries, and packaging

WEEE compliance

Cisco makes the packaging data available for informational purposes only. It may not reflect the most current legal developments, and Cisco does not represent, warrant, or guarantee that it is complete, accurate, or up to date. This information is subject to change without notice.

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1. Preliminary results only. Final results to be confirmed.
2. RX + TX time for PMA + PCS + MAC + CDC performing packet trigger based on first data word (for example, dst MAC).
3. 25GbE functionality available via firmware upgrade. 40/50/100GbE requires user supplied MAC.




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