[P4-dev] Announcing P4_16

Changhoon Kim chang at barefootnetworks.com
Wed Dec 21 20:46:15 EST 2016

Hi P4 enthusiasts,

I'm delighted to announce that P4 Design Working Group has just released a
community pre-release version of the new P4 language specification, namely

The full specification of P416 is available at http://p4.org/spec/, and the
reference compiler implementation of P416 is also available at

Some of the key improvements of P416 relative to P414 (i.e., the current
widely-adopted P4 specification) are as follows:

- Support for architectural heterogeneity (by separating the language from
target architecture)
- Support for functional heterogeneity (by allowing language extension via
extern types)
- Strong types
- Improved code reusability via parameterization
- Improved modularity (including local scoping)

This new language specification couldn't come out to the world without the
huge contributions from several experts in P4.org. I'd love to thank all of
them -- Mihai, Chris, Gordon, Calin, Nate, Ben, Vladimir, Antonin,
Johann, Andy, Edwin, Anirudh, Dan, Nikolaj, Arjun (in no particular order),
and everyone who offered feedback on the draft language specifications
through various channels.

Let's keep writing exciting P4 programs with this new version, and happy

-- Chang
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