Nvidia launches DPU for on-chip infrastructure

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Bluefield-2 provides GPU power with silicon and adds AI to the network and storage domain, Huang explained. It has Tensor cores for analysis functions and uses both Network Interface Controller (NIC) and Arm cores on the same silicon.

Bluefield-2 GPU combines Nvidia Mellanox ConnectX-6 DX SmartNic with Arm cores. It can transmit data at speeds of up to 200 Gbps and accelerates data center security, networking and storage tasks such as isolation, root trust, key management and data compression.

The Bluefield-2X DPU additionally features an Nvidia Ampere GPU that provides AI capabilities for data center tasks. It uses third-generation Tensor cores for real-time security analytics, e.g. abnormal behavior detection to identify intruders or data theft.

CPUs are designed to offload critical network, storage, and security tasks from the CPU to free them up to run other enterprise applications. Huang said the data services available from a single Bluefield-2 CPU are equivalent to 125 CPU cores in a data center.

DPUs will be supported by VMware Cloud Foundation, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Red Hat OpenShift, while DPUs and the DOCA architecture will be supported by Canonical's Ubuntu Linux OS for public cloud services.

DOCA also announced a software development kit (SDK) for engineers building DPU-accelerated infrastructure services. Huang compared it to the company's CUDA programming model.

DOCA is an open model architecture for data center infrastructures powered by Bluefield DPUs. The software is available to third-party application providers to use accelerated services and develop applications for their customers.

Software for third-party application providers to use advanced data center-accelerated DPU services and to develop, certify, and distribute applications to customers. DOCA is now available to early access partners.

Currently sampling Bluefield-2 for use on servers in 2021. Bluefield-2x is under development, with availability expected in 2021. The company has published a roadmap for a capacity increase of about 600 times, and the current capacity of 40TOP will increase until 2023. Bluefield-3 and Bluefield-3x will be introduced in 2022.

Source: electronicsweekly.com

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