Can a smartnic, perhaps using P4 programming language, work with a L2 (link) protocol other than Ethernet?
Between adjacent switches, particularly when under SDN control, Ethernet and routing protocols aren't needed. Nor is there a need for globally unique source and destination addresses when there are only two devices on the circuit. HDLC, for example, could do the job between adjacent devices and consume less bandwidth.
I thought the Tovino chip could be programmed for almost any protocol with the P4 language. Doesn't netronome use that chip?
Netronome uses it own silicon (i.e., chip), the NFP.
Thanks for that clarification.
Ethernet vs HDLC L2 processing is hardware dependent. SmartNICs do have Ethernet MACs, which depending of the model can operate on several Ethernet modes: 4x10GbE vs 1x40GbE for instance, but not as HDLC.