Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.
The intent of our Senior Design Thesis was to develop a software infrastructure for Blockchain applications that is compatible with SmartNIC (smart network interface card) hardware to contribute to the future of edge computing and Blockchain. The demand on network infrastructure is exploding, with there estimated to be 41.2 billion active network connections in 2025, 30.8 of those being IOT . Of these active network IOT connections, a growing plurality will contain SmartNICs, which add valuable compute into the crucial intersection between the network and individual server. With it forecasted that three-fourths of all enterprise data will be processed at the edge, SmartNICs will be a giant player in that space . On the other hand, the Blockchain industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, but is running to large problems in its application, specifically its reliance on GPUs and high compute cost- Bitcoin for example consumed 110 terawatt hours in 2021, .55% of the global energy production and roughly equivalent to the size of Malaysia or Sweden . We saw overlap in edge processing requiring security, the SmartNICs offering compute power on the edge, and Blockchain’s need for an alternative compatible hardware that catered to its decentralized qualities.
In our solution, we contributed to both areas, as we made a software infrastructure that is fully run on a fourth generation SmartNIC. This infrastructure allows clients to maintain nodes, mine for currency, and send transactions to other nodes, and more- essentially the key tenets of the blockchain that are the underpinning of Blockchain applications such as smart contracts and cryptocurrency. Using C standard library, openssl, and nanomsg, we created an object oriented Blockchain infrastructure nicknamed “Lampcoin,” which we found to be stable on the SmartNIC as well as operable. The results are extremely encouraging because they point to an unique opportunity to offload a certain part of the larger blockchain work in the future to the SmartNIC, such as Bitcoin hashing work for mining or smart contract verification for Ethereum.
Jampani, Gavin; Kapoor, Eish; and Ponnala, Vivek, "SmartNIC Compatible Blockchain" (2022). Computer Science and Engineering Senior Theses. 241.