Mellanox Socket Direct Adapters

Maximize Data Center Performance and Increase ROI

An innovative network adapter architecture—Mellanox Socket Direct®—enables direct PCIe access to multiple CPU sockets, eliminating network traffic having to traverse the inter-process bus and optimizing overall system performance.




Eliminate Traffic Bottlenecks

Socket Direct network adapters are available in several generic forms, including: a set of two PCIe cards with a connecting harness and the PCIe lanes split between the two cards; or, an OCP3.0 card (requires models that support Mellanox Multi-Host). Mellanox Socket Direct technology is also available in a single PCIe x16 card using a bifurcated PCIe slot comprised of two x8 interfaces. This unique solution is available from leading OEMs--contact Mellanox for additional information. Mellanox Socket Direct adapters enable several CPUs within a multi-socket server to connect directly to the network, each through its own dedicated PCIe interface. The result is extremely low latency and CPU utilization in addition to higher network throughput. Mellanox Socket Direct also improves Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning application performance, as it enables native GPU-Direct® technologies.

Flexible Data Speeds

  • ConnectX-6 Socket Direct cards provide HDR 200Gb/s or 200GbE ports over two PCIe Gen3 x16 slots.
  • ConnectX-5 Socket Direct cards provide EDR 100Gb/s or 100GbE transmission rate over two PCIe Gen3 x8 slots.
  • ConnectX-6 OCP3.0 cards provide HDR 200Gb/s or 200GbE ports over one PCIe Gen3/Gen4 x16 slot
  • ConnectX-6 Dx OCP 3.0 cards provide a 100GbE port over two PCIe Gen4 x16 slots

Enhances Performance and Easy to Manage

Mellanox Socket Direct adapters can be connected to a BMC using MCTP over SMBus, or MCTP over PCIe, similar to a standard Mellanox PCIe stand-up adapter. Mellanox Socket Direct adapters can be configured transparently by the server’s management solution.

Understanding Mellanox Socket Direct and Mellanox Multi-Host Technologies

Mellanox Socket Direct technology utilizes the same underlying technology that enables Mellanox Multi-Host, however the motivation and server design is different in each case, as shown in the following table.

Feature. Mellanox Multi-Host Mellanox Socket Direct
Motivation Reduces CAPEX / OPEX Improve performance
Server Config Individual servers; each with its own OS instance Single server running single OS
PCIe Signals Individual PCIe Reset, Clock, etc. Common PCIe Reset, Clock, etc.
BMC Supports individual BMCs Single BMC
Pre-boot Individual pre-boot instance Single pre-boot instance

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Ordering Part No. Max. Speed Ports Connectors ASIC & PCI Dev ID PCI Lanes
Mellanox ConnectX®-6 Dx Ethernet
MCX623435MN-CDAB 100GbE 1 QSFP56 ConnectX®-6 Dx OCP3.0, Multi Host or Socket Direct, PCIe 4.0 x16 2x8
Mellanox ConnectX®-6 VPI
MCX653105A-EFAT HDR100, EDR IB (100Gb/s) and 100GbE 1 QSFP56 ConnectX®-6 Socket Direct 3.0/4.0 x16, split into two x8 2x8 in a row
MCX653106A-EFAT HDR100, EDR IB (100Gb/s) and 100GbE 2 QSFP56 ConnectX®-6 Socket Direct 3.0/4.0 x16, split into two x8 2x8 in a row
MCX654106A-ECAT HDR100, EDR IB (100Gb/s) and 100GbE 2 QSFP56 ConnectX®-6 Socket Direct PCIe3.0 x16 + PCIe3.0x16 auxiliary card 2x16
MCX654105A-HCAT HDR IB (200Gb/s) and 200GbE 1 QSFP56 ConnectX®-6 Socket Direct PCIe3.0 x16 + PCIe3.0x16 auxiliary card 2x16
MCX654106A-HCAT HDR IB (200Gb/s) and 200GbE 2 QSFP56 ConnectX®-6 Socket Direct PCIe3.0 x16 + PCIe3.0x16 auxiliary card 2x16
Mellanox ConnectX®-5 VPI
MCX556M-ECAT-S25 EDR IB (100Gb/s) and 100GbE 2 QSFP28 ConnectX®-5 Socket Direct PCIe3.0 x8 + PCIe3.0x8 auxiliary card, 25cm harness 2 x8
MCX556M-ECAT-S35A EDR IB (100Gb/s) and 100GbE 2 QSFP28 ConnectX®-5 Socket Direct PCIe3.0 x8 + PCIe3.0x8 auxiliary card, 35cm harness 2 x8
*For Socket Direct Ethernet virtualization or Socket Direct dual-port use cases please contact Mellanox Customer support


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