Impacts of Intel's decision to stop Tofino development on P4

Hi Everyone,

Currently, I heard the news that Intel decided to stop Tofino development. I am just wondering whether this can have any impact on the P4’s development itself or not. Also, in the future, any impact on the availability of P4-compatible hardware switches?

I have mainly used P4 for some of my research projects; I just felt that this common programming interface is really a good thing for both academia and industry, compared to proprietary interfaces for various FPGA platforms.


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Nick McKeown posted the following message shortly after the Tofino announcement from Intel that is good to read:

I cannot speak for other companies directly, but at Intel, except for Tofino, the other projects mentioned in Nick’s email are going strong. There are multiple companies that make programmable NICs actively participating in the definition of the Portable NIC Architecture specification.

While one can certainly imagine replacing the P4 language with another language for these purposes, I find it difficult to imagine that such a language would look a lot different than P4, so there should be a natural interest to extend and/or enhance P4 if it is lacking, rather than go to the considerable effort of replacing it with something else.