The following is a functional diagram of the NVIDIA® BlueField®-2 DPU.
For each BlueField DPU network port, there are 2 physical PCIe networking functions exposed:
To the embedded Arm subsystem
To the host over PCIe
Different functions have different default grace period values during which functions can recover from/handle a single fatal error:
ECPFs have a graceful period of 3 minutes
PFs have a graceful period of 1 minute
VFs/SFs have a graceful period of 30 seconds
The mlx5 drivers and their corresponding software stacks must be loaded on both hosts (Arm and the host server). The OS running on each one of the hosts would probe the drivers. BlueField-2 network interfaces are compatible with NVIDIA® ConnectX®-6 and higher. BlueField-3 network interfaces are compatible with ConnectX-7 and higher.
The same network drivers are used both for BlueField and the ConnectX NIC family.