Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK)

Achieve fast packet processing and low latency with NVIDIA Poll Mode Driver (PMD) in DPDK.

DPDK is a set of libraries and optimized network interface card (NIC) drivers for fast packet processing in a user space. DPDK provides a framework and common API for high-speed networking applications. NVIDIA, as part of the DPDK open-source community, contributes not only to the development of high-performance NVIDIA drivers but also by improving and expanding DPDK functionalities and use cases.

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NVIDIA Poll Mode Driver (PMD) is an open-source upstream driver embedded within releases that’s designed for fast packet processing and low latency. It achieves this by providing a kernel bypass for send and receive queues and by avoiding the performance overhead of interrupt processing.

The two NVIDIA PMDs are mlx4 for NVIDIA® ConnectX®-3 Pro Ethernet adapters and mlx5 for ConnectX-4 Lx, ConnectX-5, ConnectX-5 Ex, ConnectX-6, ConnectX-6 Lx, ConnectX-6 Dx, and NVIDIA BlueField®-2 Ethernet adapters SmartNICs and data processing units (DPUs). NVIDIA PMDs support bare-metal, Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM) and VMware SR-IOV on x86_64, Arm, and Power architectures.

NVIDIA PMDs are part of the starting with the DPDK 2.0 release (mlx4) and DPDK 2.2 release (mlx5).


  • Most advanced NIC on the market today, enabling multiple offloads in NIC hardware to provide maximum throughput at the lowest latency
  • Reaches 200GbE throughput with a single NIC port
  • Secures applications with memory protection in hardware
  • Provides a cost-effective solution that allows DPDK applications and non-DPDK applications to concurrently use the NIC
  • Supports multiple CPU architectures and CPU-accelerators—x86, Power, and Arm


Get installation instructions, and other related information on DPDK releases.

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