[P4-design] jargon: target, architecture, target architecture

Shepard Siegel shepard.siegel at atomicrules.com
Wed Oct 19 15:26:00 EDT 2016

I'm with Nate and Han; for precisely the reasons they state.

Shepard Siegel, CTO

On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 3:23 PM, Han Wang <hwang at cs.cornell.edu> wrote:

> I second this proposal. As a person who has been working with FPGA for a
> while, it make perfect sense to distinguish “target” and “architecture”.
> For example, on a FPGA “target”, I could implement store-and-forward
> “architecture" or a cut-through “architecture”.
> Cheers,
> Han
> > On Oct 19, 2016, at 3:05 PM, Nate Foster <jnfoster at cs.cornell.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > The current version of the P4_16 specification uses the term "target
> architecture" in a number of places. In discussions with people at
> Barefoot, we've been finding it's cleaner to simply refer to "target"
> (e.g., a software switch, FPGA, or ASIC) or "architecture" (a description
> of a set of P4-programmable parser and control blocks, externs, etc.) We've
> observed that while "target architecture" makes perfect sense grammatically
> -- "target" is an adjective that modifies "architecture" -- combing both
> terms into a single phrase actually seems to muddy the waters and cause
> confusion for many people, especially those new to the language and this
> particular distinction.
> >
> > One potential downside of using "architecture" is that what we call a
> "target" a hardware person might call an "architecture." We've been
> finessing this by saying "P4 architecture" or "architecture model" when
> there is the possibility of confusion.
> >
> > Do people have thoughts on this issue? If there are no objections, I
> would propose to revise the specification to eliminate "target
> architecture" in favor of "architecture" or "P4 architecture." (I've
> already sent Mihai a version of the spec with this change, but obviously
> this should be discussed within the group.)
> >
> > Cheers,
> > N
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> >
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