Wednesday, February 24th 2021

Xilinx Revolutionizes the Modern Data Center with Software-Defined, Hardware Accelerated Alveo SmartNICs

Addressing the demands of the modern data center, Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) today announced a range of new data center products and solutions, including a new family of Alveo SmartNICs, smart world AI video analytics applications, an accelerated algorithmic trading reference design for sub-microsecond trading, and the Xilinx App Store.

Today's most demanding and complex applications, from networking and AI analytics to financial trading, require low-latency and real-time performance. Achieving this level of performance has been limited to expensive and lengthy hardware development. With these new products and solutions, Xilinx is eliminating the barriers for software developers to quickly create and deploy software-defined, hardware accelerated applications on Alveo accelerator cards.
"Data centers are transforming to increase networking bandwidth and optimize for workloads like artificial intelligence and real-time analytics," said Salil Raje, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group at Xilinx. "These complex, compute-intensive and constantly-evolving workloads are pushing existing infrastructure to its limits and driving the need for fully composable, software-defined hardware accelerators that provide the adaptability to optimize today's most demanding applications as well as the flexibility to quickly take on new workloads and protocols, and accelerate them at line rate."

New Alveo SN1000 SmartNICs
The Xilinx Alveo SN1000 is the industry's first family of composable SmartNICs offering software-defined hardware acceleration for all function offloads. SN1000 SmartNICs directly offload CPU intensive tasks to optimize networking performance, with an open architecture that can accelerate a broad range of network functions at line rate.

Using the Vitis Networking platform and industry standard, high-level programming languages such as P4, C, and C++, software developers can create network functions, protocols, and applications that operate in hardware on the SmartNIC. Vitis Networking allows organizations to quickly and easily compose new, and tweak existing, network functions to handle new protocols and applications without replacing hardware, future proofing investments.

SN1000 SmartNICs provide software-defined hardware acceleration for a wide range of networking, security, and storage offloads, such as Open vSwitch and virtualization acceleration (Virtio.net). Security offloads include IPsec, kTLS and SSL/TLS and accelerated storage applications including Virtio.blk, NVMe over TCP, Ceph, and compression and crypto services.

Industry Support
  • "VMware is defining the hybrid cloud architecture for next-generation applications with heightened security requirements. SmartNICs will play a critical role in the VMware Cloud Foundation architecture by giving customers a unified management, security, and resiliency model that spans both bare metal and virtualized environments where the composability of Xilinx Alveo SN1000 SmartNICs will provide a flexible, integrated, and qualified solution for customers." -- Lee Caswell, vice president of marketing, VMware Cloud Platform Business Unit
  • "Today's software-defined data center demands flexibility and scalability to meet the ever-changing needs of customer workloads. The innovative composable offload framework of the Xilinx Alveo SN1000 SmartNIC family gives Inspur the agility to adapt to evolving customer needs by rapidly developing and deploying custom workloads." -- Ben Li, general manager of Network Business Unit at Inspur
Based on the Xilinx 16 nm UltraScale+ architecture, the SN1000 family of SmartNICs are powered by the low-latency Xilinx XCU26 FPGA and a 16-core Arm processor. SN1000 SmartNICs deliver dual-QSFP ports for 10/25/100 Gb/s connectivity with leading small packet performance and a PCIe Gen 4 interconnect. The first model in the family is the SN1022, which is offered in a full height, half length form factor in a 75-Watt power envelope.

The Alveo SN1022 SmartNIC will be generally available in March 2021.

Building the Smart World with New AI Video Analytics Platform
Xilinx is launching an AI video analytics platform with an ecosystem of partner solutions built to accelerate the most complex and latency-sensitive AI video inferencing applications. The Xilinx smart world platform, powered by the Xilinx Video Machine-learning Streaming Server, delivers whole application acceleration and can support multiple neural networks on a single Alveo accelerator card at deterministic sub-100 ms pipeline latency. The result is the industry's lowest TCO for demanding AI video analytics applications.

Xilinx smart world ecosystem solutions available today, include:
  • Aupera is offering turnkey smart city and smart retail solutions that combine Aupera's intelligent, video processing with Alveo accelerators.
  • Mipsology is providing a toolset for easy migration of existing AI applications from GPU-based architectures to the Alveo platform, as well as plug-and-play, high-performance AI inference acceleration.
  • DeepAI is delivering AI training at the edge on Alveo accelerators with up to a 10x performance per cost advantage compared to GPU-based solutions.
Low-Latency Electronic Trading for Everyone
Achieving sub-microsecond latency in algorithmic trading has traditionally required costly and time-consuming hardware development. The Vitis development platform now includes an accelerated algorithmic trading (AAT) reference design which gives software developers the ability to quickly and cost-effectively deliver sub-microsecond trading performance without the need for custom hardware development.

AAT, implemented on Alveo accelerator cards, provides a modular design that includes all the necessary components for an end-to-end, low-latency trading solution. Each module can be customized using C and C++ in the Vitis platform to meet each firm's specific needs.

The AAT reference design is available today at no cost for Alveo accelerator card customers.

Xilinx App Store
Xilinx has launched an app store with ready-to-deploy accelerated applications spanning smart world AI video analytics to anti-money laundering and live video transcoding. Developed by Xilinx ecosystem partners, the containerized pre-built applications provide an easy way to evaluate, purchase and deploy accelerated applications in minutes. Visit the Xilinx App Store to learn more.

Xilinx Adapt: Data Center
Xilinx will showcase these and other accelerated solutions at the Xilinx Adapt: Data Center event taking place March 24-25. Xilinx Adapt is a virtual technology series highlighting key trends and advancements in the data center, 5G, software & AI, automotive and Vivado. The events provide an opportunity for developers and ecosystem partners to connect with Xilinx experts and industry leaders with a program of presentations, forums, product trainings and labs.
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3 Comments on Xilinx Revolutionizes the Modern Data Center with Software-Defined, Hardware Accelerated Alveo SmartNICs

#1
TechLurker
Aside from Xilinx' impressive portfolio, I'm wondering if AMD would leverage some of Xilinx' IP in the consumer markets. Maybe hand off managing live-encoding to Xilinx' apps or specialized sub-processors integrated in future GPUs? Or some prosumer grade NICs based on Xilinx' commercial stuff?
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#2
Mysteoa
TechLurker
Aside from Xilinx' impressive portfolio, I'm wondering if AMD would leverage some of Xilinx' IP in the consumer markets. Maybe hand off managing live-encoding to Xilinx' apps or specialized sub-processors integrated in future GPUs? Or some prosumer grade NICs based on Xilinx' commercial stuff?
There is very little incentive to do so, maybe for the TR platform. It will most likely trickle down from servers after some years.
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#3
TechLurker
Mysteoa
There is very little incentive to do so, maybe for the TR platform. It will most likely trickle down from servers after some years.
AMD has also been aggressively pushing commercial elements downwards, bit by bit, but you may be right. Some of them don't quite make sense for consumers, but as with their TR Pros, I could see AMD pushing some commercial/enterprise grade stuff into the high-end prosumer market. Especially as TR Pro has quickly become "EPYC, but faster and slightly cheaper".
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