Xilinx expands Alveo portfolio with adaptable accelerator card

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Xilinx has expanded its Alveo data centre accelerator card portfolio with the launch of the Alveo U50.

The U50 card is the first low profile adaptable accelerator with PCIe Gen 4 support, and has been designed to 'supercharge' a broad range of critical compute, network and storage workloads, all on one reconfigurable platform.

The Alveo U50 provides customers with a programmable low profile and low-power accelerator platform built for scale-out architectures and domain-specific acceleration of any server deployment, on-premise, in the cloud and at the edge.

In order to address the challenges of emerging dynamic workloads such as cloud microservices, Alveo U50 is able to deliver between 10-20x improvements in throughput, latency and power efficiency. For accelerated networking and storage workloads, the U50 card helps developers identify and eliminate latency and data movement bottlenecks by moving compute closer to the data.

Powered by Xilinx’s UltraScale+ architecture, the U50 card is the first in the Alveo portfolio to be packaged in a half-height, half-length form factor and low 75W power envelope. The card features high-bandwidth memory (HBM2), 100 gigabit per second (100 Gbps) networking connectivity, and support for the PCIe Gen 4 and CCIX interconnects.

By fitting into standard PCIe server slots and using one-third the power, it significantly expands the scope in which adaptable acceleration can be deployed to unlock dramatic throughput and latency improvements for demanding compute, network and storage workloads. The 8GB of HBM2 delivers over 400 Gbps data transfer speeds and the QSFP ports provide up to 100 Gbps network connectivity.

The high-speed networking I/O also supports advanced applications like NVMe-oF solutions (NVM Express over Fabrics), disaggregated computational storage and specialised financial services applications.

From machine learning inference, video transcoding and data analytics to computational storage, electronic trading and financial risk modelling, the Alveo U50 has been designed to bring programmability, flexibility, and high throughput and low latency performance advantages to any form of server deployment. Unlike fixed architecture alternatives, its software and hardware programmability allows customers to meet fast changing demands and optimizs application performance as workloads and algorithms continue to evolve.

Alveo U50 accelerated solutions deliver significant customer value across a range of applications, including:

  • Deep learning inference acceleration (speech translation): delivers up to 25x lower latency, 10x higher throughput and significantly improved power efficiency per node compared to GPU-only for speech translation performance;
  • Data analytics acceleration (database query): running the TPC-H Query benchmark, Alveo U50 delivers 4x higher throughput per hour and reduced operational costs by 3x compared to in-memory CPU;
  • Computational storage acceleration (compression): delivers 20x more compression/decompression throughput, faster Hadoop and big data analytics, and over 30 percent lower cost per node compared to CPU-only nodes;
  • Network acceleration (electronic trading): delivers 20x lower latency and sub-500ns trading time compared to CPU-only latency of 10us;
  • Financial modelling (grid computing): running the Monte Carlo simulation, Alveo U50 delivers 7x greater power efficiency compared to GPU-only performance for a faster time to insight, deterministic latency and reduced operational costs.

“Ever-growing demands on the data centre are pushing existing infrastructure to its limit, driving the need for adaptable solutions that can optimise performance across a broad range of workloads and extend the lifecycle of existing infrastructure, ultimately reducing TCO,” said Salil Raje, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, at Xilinx. “The Alveo U50 brings an optimised form factor and unprecedented performance and adaptability to data centre workloads, and we continue to build out solution stacks with a growing ecosystem of application partners to deliver previously unthinkable capabilities to a range of industries.”

The Alveo U50 is sampling now with OEM system qualifications in process. General availability is expected in autumn 2019.