Xilinx announces Versal Premium adaptable platform for network and cloud acceleration

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Xilinx has unveiled Versal Premium, the third series in the company's Versal ACAP portfolio.

The Versal Premium series features highly integrated, networked and power-optimised cores and what the company says is the industry’s highest bandwidth and compute density on an adaptable platform. The series has been designed for the highest bandwidth networks operating in thermally and spatially constrained environments, as well as for cloud providers who need scalable, adaptable application acceleration.

Versal is an adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP), that's described as a new category of heterogeneous compute devices with capabilities that exceed those of conventional silicon architectures.

Developed on TSMC's 7-nanometer process technology, Versal Premium combines software programmability with dynamically configurable hardware acceleration and pre-engineered connectivity and security features to enable a faster time-to-market. The series delivers up to 3X higher throughput compared to current generation FPGAs, with built-in Ethernet, Interlaken, and cryptographic engines that enable fast and secure networks. The series doubles the compute density of currently deployed mainstream FPGAs and provides the adaptability to keep pace with increasingly diverse and evolving cloud and networking workloads.

“The Versal Premium series takes ACAPs to the next level delivering breakthrough networked hard IP integration enabling the development of single chip 400G and 800G solutions,” said Kirk Saban, vice president of Product and Platform Marketing at Xilinx. “Targeting next-generation networks and cloud deployments, Versal Premium delivers superior bandwidth and compute density in a scalable platform that is readily programmable by hardware and software developers alike for optimized acceleration and reduced TCO.”

The Versal Premium series is built on a foundation of the currently shipping Versal AI Core and Versal Prime ACAP series.New to Versal Premium are 112Gbps PAM4 transceivers, multi-hundred gigabit Ethernet and Interlaken connectivity, high speed cryptography, and PCIe Gen5 with built-in DMA, supporting both CCIX and CXL. Together with the Vitis - unified software platform and Vivado Design Suite, the Versal Premium series offers a complete solution stack for hardware and software developers for maximum productivity.

Greatly increased network traffic from 5G network rollout is driving demand for power-optimised throughput and compute density and the Versal Premium series looks to address these challenges by delivering up to 9Tb/s of scalable, adaptable serial bandwidth. This is achieved by utilizing 112G PAM4 transceivers and integrated connectivity for core, metro and data center interconnect (DCI) infrastructure that doubles bandwidth density per port and reduce latency by up to 50 percent.

The pre-engineered connectivity enables secure, multi-terabit Ethernet with flexibility to support a variety of data rates and protocols. Channelized Ethernet cores deliver up to 5Tb/s of throughput in a minimized footprint and high-speed cryptography engines provide up to 1.6Tb/s of encrypted line-rate throughput and support for AES-GCM-256/128, MACsec, and IPsec.

“As the demand on the core network continues to grow, the need for adaptable infrastructure hardware greatly increases. The Versal Premium ACAP builds on Xilinx’s portfolio of high-performance and flexible products for communications networks," said Jim McGregor, principal analyst, TIRIAS Research. “With the integration of networked, power-optimised cores, Versal Premium will allow telco operators to build fast and secure networks while offering adaptable acceleration for new data-intensive workloads that are transforming networks and data centers."

The Versal Premium series is engineered to help hyperscalers reach the higher levels of acceleration for a wide range of data center workloads. The over 120TB/s of on-chip memory bandwidth, coupled with the customisable memory hierarchy, reduces data movement to remove key bottlenecks, while pre-engineered connectivity and cores allow drop-in integration into existing cloud infrastructure.

Versal Premium delivers a highly integrated, cloud-ready platform enabling breakthrough performance for diverse workloads such as genomics, analytics and video transcoding to AI inference for speech and image recognition.

The Versal Premium series will begin sampling with early access customers in the first half of 2021.