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The NVIDIA® BlueField®-2 data processing unit (DPU) is a data center infrastructure on a chip optimized for traditional enterprise, high-performance computing (HPC), and modern cloud workloads, delivering a broad set of accelerated software-defined networking, storage, security, and management services. BlueField-2 DPU enables organizations to transform their IT infrastructures into state-of-the-art data centers that are accelerated, fully programmable and armed with “zero trust” security to prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks.

By combining the industry-leading NVIDIA ConnectX®-6 Dx network adapter with an array of Arm® cores, BlueField-2 offers purpose-built, hardware-acceleration engines with full software programmability. Sitting at the edge of every server, BlueField-2 is optimized to handle critical infrastructure tasks quickly, increasing data center efficiency. BlueField-2 empowers agile and high-performance solutions for cloud networking, storage, cybersecurity, data analytics, HPC, and artificial intelligence (AI), from edge to core data centers and clouds, all while reducing the total cost of ownership. The NVIDIA DOCA software development kit (SDK) enables developers to rapidly create applications and services for the BlueField-2 DPU. The DOCA SDK makes it easy and straightforward to leverage DPU hardware accelerators and CPU programmability for better application performance and security.

System Requirements

The BlueField-2 DPU is designed and validated for operation in data-center servers and other large environments that guarantee proper power supply and airflow conditions.

The DPU is not intended for installation on a desktop or a workstation. Moreover, installing the DPU in any system without proper power and airflow levels can impact the DPU's functionality and potentially damage it. Failure to meet the environmental requirements listed in this user manual may void the warranty.

Main-board PCI Express slot

x8 or x16 Gen 4.0 slot as per the PCIe interface specified for the card.

System Power SupplyMinimum 75W or greater system power supply for all cards.

P-Series DPU controllers with PCIe Gen 4.0 x16 require an additional 75W through a supplementary 6-pin ATX power supply connector.
NOTE: The power cable is not included in the package. It should be part of system wiring, or it can be ordered separately as a system accessory.

Operating SystemBlueField-2 DPU is shipped with Ubuntu – a Linux commercial operating system – which includes the NVIDIA OFED stack (MLNX_OFED), and is capable of running all customer-based Linux applications seamlessly. BlueField-2 DPU also supports CentOS and has an out-of-band 1GbE management interface. For more information, please refer to the DOCA SDK documentation or NVIDIA BlueField-2 Software User Manual. 
  • Interoperable with 1/10/25/40/50/100/200 Gb/s Ethernet switches
  • Passive copper cable with ESD protection
  • Powered connectors for optical and active cable support

For detailed information, see Specifications.

Package Contents

Before unpacking your DPU, it is important to ensure your server meets all the system requirements listed above for a smooth installation. Be sure to inspect each piece of equipment shipped in the packing box. If anything is missing or damaged, contact your reseller.

Card Package 

Cards1x BlueField-2 DPU

1x tall bracket (shipped assembled on the card).

1x short bracket is included in the box (not assembled).
For other cards: Short brackets should be ordered separately.

Accessories Kit 

The accessories kit should be ordered separately. Please refer to the below table and order the kit based on the desired DPU. 

DPU OPNAccessories Kit OPNContents
MBF20-DKIT1x USB 2.0 Type-A to Mini USB Type B cable
30-pin shrouded connector cable
MBF25-DKIT4-pin USB to female USB Type-A cable
30-pin shrouded connector cable
MBF35-DKIT4-pin USB to female USB Type-A cable
20-pin shrouded connector to USB Type-A cable

In earlier HW versions of the following OPNs, MBF20-DKIT should be ordered: MBF2H332A-AECOT, MBF2H332A-AEEOT, MBF2H332A-AENOT.

For FHHL 100Gb/s P-Series DPUs, you need a 6-pin PCIe external power cable to activate the card. The cable is not included in the package. For further details, please refer to External PCIe Power Supply Connector.

Features and Benefits

This section describes hardware features and capabilities.

Please refer to the relevant driver and/or firmware release notes for feature availability.

PCI Express (PCIe)Uses PCIe Gen 4.0 (16GT/s) through an x8/x16 edge connector. Gen 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0 compatible.
Up to 200 Gigabit Ethernet

BlueField-2 DPU complies with the following IEEE 802.3 standards: 200GbE / 100GbE / 50GbE / 40GbE / 25GbE / 10GbE

IEEE802.3ck200/100 Gigabit Ethernet
(Include ETC enhancement)


200/100 Gigabit Ethernet
(Include ETC enhancement)
IEEE 802.3bj
IEEE 802.3bm
100 Gigabit Ethernet
IEEE 802.3by
Ethernet Consortium25
50/25 Gigabit Ethernet
IEEE 802.3ba40 Gigabit Ethernet
IEEE 802.3ae10 Gigabit Ethernet
IEEE 802.3cb2.5/5 Gigabit Ethernet
(For 2.5: support only 2.5 x1000BASE-X)
IEEE 802.3ap Based on auto-negotiation and KR startup
IEEE 802.3ad
IEEE 802.1AX 
Link Aggregation
IEEE 802.1Q
IEEE 802.1P VLAN tags and priority

IEEE 802.1Qau (QCN)
Congestion Notification
IEEE 802.1Qaz (ETS)
EEE 802.1Qbb (PFC)
IEEE 802.1Qbg
IEEE 1588v2
IEEE 802.1AE
Jumbo frame support (9.6KB)

Onboard Memory
  • Quad SPI NOR FLASH - includes 256Mbit for firmware image

  • UVPS EEPROM - includes 1Mbit

  • FRU EEPROM - stores the parameters and personality of the DPU. The EEPROM capacity is 128Kbit. FRU I2C address is (0x50) and is accessible through the PCIe SMBus. 
  • eMMC - x8 NAND flash (memory size might vary on different DPUs) for Arm boot, OS, and disk space

  • DDR4 SDRAM - 8GB/16GB/32GB @3200MT/s single-channel DDR4 SDRAM memory. Solder down on-board. 64bit + 8bit ECC.

BlueField-2 DPUThe BlueField-2 DPU integrates eight 64-bit Armv8 A72 cores interconnected by a coherent mesh network, one DRAM controller, an RDMA intelligent network adapter supporting up to 200Gb/s, an embedded PCIe switch with endpoint and root complex functionality, and up to 16 lanes of PCIe Gen 4.0.
Overlay NetworksTo better scale their networks, data center operators often create overlay networks that carry traffic from individual virtual machines over logical tunnels in encapsulated formats such as NVGRE and VXLAN. While this solves network scalability issues, it hides the TCP packet from the hardware offloading engines, placing higher loads on the host CPU. DPU effectively addresses this by providing advanced NVGRE and VXLAN hardware offloading engines that encapsulate and de-capsulate the overlay protocol.
RDMA and RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE)DPU, utilizing IBTA RDMA (Remote Data Memory Access) and RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) technology, delivers low-latency and high-performance over Ethernet networks. Leveraging data center bridging (DCB) capabilities as well as advanced congestion control hardware mechanisms, RoCE provides efficient low-latency RDMA services over Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks.
NVIDIA PeerDirectNVIDIA PeerDirect communication provides high-efficiency RDMA access by eliminating unnecessary internal data copies between components on the PCIe bus (for example, from GPU to CPU), significantly reducing application run time. DPU advanced acceleration technology enables higher cluster efficiency and scalability to tens of thousands of nodes.
Quality of Service (QoS)Support for port-based Quality of Service enabling various application requirements for latency and SLA.
Storage Acceleration

A consolidated compute and storage network achieves significant cost-performance advantages over multi-fabric networks. Standard block and file access protocols can leverage RDMA for high-performance storage access.

  • NVMe over Fabric offloads for the target machine
  • T10-DIF Signature Handover

BlueField-2 DPU may operate as a co-processor offloading specific storage tasks from the host, isolating part of the storage media from the host, or enabling abstraction of software-defined storage logic using the BlueField-2 Arm cores. On the storage initiator side, BlueField-2 DPU can prove an efficient solution for hyper-converged systems to enable the host CPU to focus on computing while all the storage interface is handled through the Arm cores.

NVMe-oFNonvolatile Memory Express (NVMe) over Fabrics is a protocol for communicating block storage IO requests over RDMA to transfer data between a host computer and a target solid-state storage device or system over a network. BlueField-2 DPU may operate as a co-processor offloading specific storage tasks from the host using its powerful NVMe over Fabrics Offload accelerator.

DPU SR-IOV technology provides dedicated adapter resources and guaranteed isolation and protection for virtual machines (VM) within the server.

GPU Direct

The latest advancement in GPU-GPU communications is GPUDirect RDMA. This new technology provides a direct P2P (Peer-to-Peer) data path between the GPU Memory directly to/from the HCA devices. This provides a significant decrease in GPU-GPU communication latency and completely offloads the CPU, removing it from all GPU-GPU communications across the network. The DPU uses high-speed DMA transfers to copy data between P2P devices resulting in more efficient system applications.


The BlueField-2 DPU crypto-enabled versions include a BlueField-2 IC which supports accelerated cryptographic operations. In addition to specialized instructions for bulk cryptographic processing in the Arm cores, an offload hardware engine accelerates public-key cryptography, and random number generation is enabled.

Security Accelerators

A consolidated compute and network solution based on DPU achieves significant advantages over a centralized security server solution. Standard encryption protocols and security applications can leverage BlueField-2 compute capabilities and network offloads for security application solutions such as Layer 4 stateful firewall.

Out-of-Band ManagementThe BlueField-2 DPU incorporates a 1GbE RJ45 out-of-band port that allows the network operator to establish trust boundaries in accessing the management function to apply it to network resources. It can also be used to ensure management connectivity (including the ability to determine the status of any network component) independent of the status of other in-band network components.

Some DPUs incorporate local NIC BMC (Baseboard Management Controller) hardware on the board. The BMC SoC (system on a chip) can utilize either shared or dedicated NICs for remote access. The BMC node enables remote power cycling, board environment monitoring, BlueField-2 chip temperature monitoring, board power, and consumption monitoring, and individual interface resets. The BMC also supports the ability to push a bootstream to BlueField-2. Having a trusted onboard BMC that is fully isolated from the host server ensures the highest security for the DPU boards.



NVIDIA offers a full IEEE 1588v2 PTP software solution, as well as time-sensitive related features called “5T”.  NVIDIA PTP and 5T software solutions, are designed to meet the most demanding PTP profiles. BlueField-2 incorporates an integrated Hardware Clock (PHC) that allows BlueField-2 to achieve sub-20u Sec accuracy and offers many timings-related functions such as time-triggered scheduling or time-based SND accelerations. The PTP part supports the subordinate clock, master clock, and boundary clock.

BlueField-2 PTP solution allows you to run any PTP stack on your host and on the DPU Arm.

The MMCX on the board allows customers to connect an RF cable without occupying space on the external bracket.