NetDIMM: Low-latency near-memory network interface architecture

Mohammad Alian, Nam Sung Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Optimizing bandwidth was the main focus of designing scale-out networks for several decades and this optimization trend has served well the traditional Internet applications. However, the emergence of datacenters as single computer entities has made latency as important as bandwidth in designing datacenter networks. PCIe interconnect is known to be latency bottleneck in communication networks as its latency overhead can contribute to up to ~90% of the overall communication latency. Despite its overheads, PCIe is the de facto interconnect standard in servers as it has been well established and maintained for more than two decades. In addition to PCIe overhead, data movements in network software stack consume thousands of processor cycles and make ultra-low latency networking more challenging. Tackling PCIe and data movement overheads, we architect NetDIMM, a near-memory network interface card capable of in-memory buffer cloning. NetDIMM places a network interface card chip into the buffer device of a dual in-line memory module and leverages the asynchronous memory access capability of DDR5 to share the memory modules between the host processor and near-memory NIC. Our evaluation shows NetDIMM, on average, improves per packet latency by 49.9% compared with a baseline network deploying PCIe NICs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMICRO 2019 - 52nd Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369381
StatePublished - Oct 12 2019
Event52nd Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2019 - Columbus, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2019Oct 16 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO
ISSN (Print)1072-4451


Conference52nd Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2019
CountryUnited States


  • Near-memory computing
  • Network architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture

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