For heterogeneous computing, Intel has introduced an FPGA
Update Time: 2019-12-20 11:43:53
Four years ago, Intel acquired Altera, a well-known FPGA company. Along with the combination of the two, Altera's Stratix 10 series is also included in Intel's pocket. In the past four years, Stratix 10 has also spawned a variety of product lines. Recently, Intel announced the shipment of the new Stratix 10 DX FPGA.
Stratix 10 DX FPGA powers Xeon processors
As everyone knows, one of the highlights of Intel's acquisition of Altera is Intel's hardware platform for CPU+FPGA architecture. At the earliest, Intel completed this vision with Arria 10 FPGAs. Stratix 10 outperforms Arria 10 in performance and integration. In this case, Intel introduced a Stratix 10 DX FPGA for server connectivity.
Patrick Dorsey, vice president of Intel Networks and Custom Logic Division and general manager of FPGA and power product marketing, said: "The unique feature of Stratix 10 DX in the market is its high bandwidth and low latency. This product is Intel's first PCIe Gen4-enabled FPGAs use the Superpath Interconnect UPI. UPI also provides a new path for Intel's Compute Express Link (CXL) roadmap. Because this product supports UPI, it is one of its key values. It is able to expand system memory. With Stratix 10 DX and Intel Xeon processor, you can greatly expand system memory. This expansion is amazing, can support 8 independent AoTeng TM DC persistent memory controller, total The capacity can reach 4TB."
It should be emphasized here that the reason why Intel's CPU and FPGA can work efficiently is because of UPI and PCIe Gen4 compliant protocols. Patrick said: "The benefits of UPI compliance are reflected in the shared storage between the Xeon processor and the FPGA. No data migration or data copying is required during the sharing process. Data migration and copying will bring high costs and also Reduce system performance."
In addition, Stratix 10 DX is ideal for high-performance computing applications from the edge to the cloud. In edge computing applications, applications require ultra-fast response on AI or neural network computing tasks. Stratix 10 DX is 37% faster than products that only use PCIe. In network applications, PCIe Gen4 has doubled the bandwidth compared to the previous generation, which makes data processing faster and also has Ethernet capabilities. In the data center, the total bandwidth can be increased by 2.6 times through Intel's heterogeneous computing architecture, namely the Xeon+FPGA combination, and the interconnection of PCIe Gen4 and UPI.
It is reported that the Intel Stratix 10 DX partner is VMware, Patrick said: "The cooperation with VMware is also an important part of Intel's entry into the market."
Stratix 10 DX powers 5G development
In April of this year, Intel announced that it will withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business, focusing on 5G network infrastructure and other data center services. At the same time, through the response of Intel CEO, 5G is still the company's priority strategy. In addition, Intel has been implementing a "data-centric" strategic transformation in recent years. Taken together, Intel's 5G technology may be able to force the server.
For 5G, FPGAs can be applied to 5G baseband and 5G wireless. Patrick said: "Stratix 10 DX is mainly for 5G baseband, the benefits are mainly reflected in low latency, especially when 5G goes to the data center, when using VRAN with FPGA and Xeon processor, Stratix 10 DX can be used. Accelerate many network functions."
At the same time, Patrick also revealed that Stratix 10 DX is mainly used in the interconnection with the server. And some of the communication application business will benefit from this, Intel is now pushing a solution - to move some applications of 5G to the server side, this work is still in progress. In the process of advancing, it also includes Chinese customers like China Mobile.
Intel's next-generation FPGAs will use 10nm process
In the past, Intel has successively launched Stratix 10 GX, Stratix 10 TX and other products. Patrick said: "The GX series is versatile and can face many markets. The TX series is mainly used in some networks that require very high speed, and the speed of Ethernet reaches 58 Gbps per second. The DX series is mainly for the Xeon processor server. Connection."
Looking back at Intel's Stratix 10 series, we found that the series basically uses the Intel 14nm process. The Stratix 10 DX is also the process. As early as April this year, there is news that Intel will launch a new FPGA based on Intel's 10nm process - Agilex.
According to Patrick, the next generation of Agilex will support the next generation of UPI, an open standard interface based on CXL. It will also support the next generation PCIe standard. Patrick emphasized that UPI can be easily upgraded to CXL based on Intel technology.
Specifically, in the transition from UPI to CXL, it is only necessary to update the hardware interface and some software. Patrick said: "Because of the different hardware interfaces, a new chip is needed. CXL is an interface that adapts to the PCIe Gen5 protocol. UPI is a different interface, so it needs to be replaced on the chip and hardware. In addition to hardware, from development From the perspective of the software, there must be small changes in the software. Now with the solution of cache consistency, developers can develop applications in a completely new way. You can make full use of consistency for application development. Architecture. In summary, not only does the hardware have some minor changes, but the software also needs to be adjusted, but these are not complicated."
It is reported that Agilex has not yet reached the mass production stage, and only the prototype is currently available. From the perspective of shipping, it takes about a year. At the same time, Patrick also said: "Agilex currently uses 10 nanometer process technology, but not limited to 10 nanometers, and may use multiple process technologies in the future. Agilex will be the new Intel FPGA product line in the future."
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