Intel is building the foundation for the modern data center, and its solution to the exponential data growth is not more CPU power, but field programmable gate array (FPGA) accelerators.
Intel's idea is to pair its Xeon server processors with the Arria 10 GX FPGA and the Intel Acceleration Stack for Intel Xeon CPU with FPGAs to boost performance and power efficiency.
And two of the big server OEMs are on board, with Dell EMC adding FPGA support to the R640, R740, and R740xd, and Fujitsu will offer early access for priority customers for its PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 servers.
Intel is highlighting two particular workloads that will benefit from servers kitted out with FPGAs - financial risk analytics and database acceleration.
When it comes to enhancing database performance, Intel sees FPGAs improving performance at two points in the chain - the extract, transform, and load stage, and the analytics stage - to make complex analysis with real-time data a reality.
For those who like benchmarks, Intel claims that FPGAs offer 20 times faster real-time data analytics and more than three times the storage compression.
"We are at the horizon of a new era of data center computing as Dell EMC and Fujitsu put the power and flexibility of Intel FPGAs in mainstream server products," said Reynette Au, vice president of marketing for the Intel Programmable Solutions Group. "We're enabling our customers and partners to create a rich set of high-performance solutions at scale by delivering the benefits of hardware performance, all in a software development environment."
Beyond data analytics, Intel sees FPGAs also benefiting artificial intelligence, cyber security, video transcoding, and genomics.
Intel Arria 10 FPGAs are based on 20-nanometer ARM-based Cortex-A9 SoC that offers 1.5 TFLOPS of DSP performance, 96 transceiver lanes deliver 3.3 Tbps of serial bandwidth, and have up to 40 percent less power consumption than previous generation FPGAs.
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