Dolphin PCIe SmartIO technology

Dolphin PCIe SmartIO is a collection of software for PCI Express enabling customers to utilize standard transparent PCIe devices in a new and flexible way.

PCIe Device Lending

Device Lending enables customers to dynamically access devices physically located in other servers. PCIe NTB technology is used provide direct access to the remote device without any software overhead. Device Lending does not require any modifications to device drivers. Single function PCIe devices can be used by one, multifunction SR-IOV devices can be shared with several systems. More information on Device Lending.

Device Lending combined with NVMe enables NVMe over PCIe fabrics.


Device Lending support remote access to transparent devices using standard device drivers APIs. The SISCI API SmartIO functionality brings the functionality one step ahead and enables programmers to access and share single function devices like NVMes, GPUs and FPGAs. This software also supports hot adding devices. More information on SISCI API SmartIO.

SmartIO NVMe access

Dolphin is working to create an SISCI API SmartIO aware NVMe driver what can be used to share a single NVMe namespace with several servers. Please contact Dolphin for more information.

Transparent PCI Hot Add

Dolphins SmartIO technology also enables real surprise hot add with Linux systems. This means you can boot up your server without connecting IO devices and at any point later connect and disconnect your PCIe device or PCIe expansion system. When the device is added, the SmartIO software will enumerate the device and add it to the Linux device tree. More information on SmartIO PCIe Hot Add.

Understanding Dolphin SmartIO

The SmartIO technology has been developed by Dolphin in collaboration with Simula Research Laboratory, supported by funding from the Norwegian Research Council. The following in depth publications are available:

PCI Express Device Lending PCI Express Device Lending - borrow PCIe devices from remote Linux systems
Flexible Device Sharing using Device Lending How to access PCIe devices over a PCIe fabric. Virtualization and peer to peer transactions.



eXpressWare PCI Express Software

eXpressWare is a complete solution for creating advanced solutions based on PCI Express. It offers standard TCP/IP over PCIe, a Berkeley Socket compliant networking accelerator named SuperSockets and an API for accessing remote memory and devices (SISCI API). Overview of eXpressWare.

eXpressWare is bundled with Dolphins PCIe NTB enabled hardware products and licensed to OEMs with compliant products based on Microchip or Broadcom chipset.


The above functionality is available with eXpressWare 5.7.0 Linux or newer. The surprise hot add will be available with eXpressWare Linux 5.11.0 for MXH cards and 5.12.0 for PXH cards. SISCI API SmartIO is currently being ported to Windows.

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