Intel today announced shipments of new Intel Stratix 10 DX field programmable gate arrays (FPGA).
The new FPGAs are designed to support Intel Ultra Path Interconnect (Intel UPI), PCI-Express (PCIe) Gen4 x16 and a new controller for Intel Optane technology to provide acceleration. VMware is one of many early access program participants.
Stratix 10 DX FPGAs with the new interfaces include the option to support select Intel Optane DC persistent memory dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs). They increase bandwidth and provide coherent memory expansion and hardware acceleration for upcoming select Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
Data center customers increasingly use hardware accelerators, like FPGAs, when more computational speed is required from server systems running networking and cloud-based applications such as artificial intelligence training/inferencing or database-related workloads. The effective performance of hardware accelerators depends heavily on the communications bandwidth and latency between one or more server CPUs, available system memory and any attached accelerator (GPU, FPGA, application-specific standard products, etc.).
By diverting certain tasks to accelerators, more CPU cores become available to work on other higher priority workloads, increasing data center operator efficiency. Intel’s FPGA-based accelerators provide hardware-assisted performance combined with the flexibility to adapt to multiple workloads.
When compared with previous FPGA variants, Intel believes that Intel Stratix 10 DX FPGAs will provide new capabilities and interface features including:
- The UPI interface in combination with future select Intel Xeon Scalable processors will deliver 37% lower latency and improve overall system performance via coherent data movement and a theoretical peak transfer rate of 28 GB/second. Memory coherent FPGA interfaces are part of Intel’s roadmap as the company moves toward Compute Express Link availability in 2021.
- PCI-SIG compliant Gen4 x16 interface delivers a theoretical peak data bandwidth of 32 GB/second. Both data center and non-data center applications will realize about two times more throughput.
- Memory controller supports up to eight Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules per FPGA (up to 4 TB of non-volatile memory).
- Other existing Stratix 10 FPGA features include 100 GB/second Ethernet, HBM2 memory stacks and a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor subsystem with peripherals.