The device family, called the network processor for smart networks NPSis being aimed at Carrier Ethernet edge router platforms, the traditional telecom application for network processors. In practice the opposite is true: The new processor combines CPU capabilities with those of NPU, in order address the next generation of smart high-performance carrier and data-center networks. Open networking Switch chips White boxes Gigabit. NPSdata centre in semiconductors Print Article.
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The fact that the product announcement is taking place just three months after the completion of the purchase speaks to the strong synergies between EZchip and Mellanox, said Bob Doud, senior director of marketing at Mellanox. Mellanox is targeting the fully-programmable Ethernet networking silicon at storage and networking applications.
We had a core processor in , ahead of Cavium and certainly Intel. We really were the technology and thought leader. Revenue wise we were still in start-up mode, but when we talked to customers, they were eager to try the technology. These are big problems that folks like Intel are still working on. That kind of thins out the market as to who can make such a controller.
You need at least 20Gig just to service a single NVMe drive. Hardware acceleration is there to handle tasks like the NVMe over fabric protocol translation.
On the networking side, Mellanox is looking to sell adapters that integrate BlueField for applications in datacenters, cloud and security. The company is currently envisioning two models for this market.
One, which Doud refers to as the sandbox, begins life as BlueField with just an operating system running on ARM cores and some essential plumbing enabling a hyperscaler like Google or Facebook to develop the software that it needs to run on those ARM cores. The datacenter operator develops the application code, and ConnectX and the hardware on the device helps to channel the flows to the right place and get them in and out of the cores. That second model is for Mellanox to develop the code for BlueField and sell it as a pure turnkey play much like they would ConnectX.
For this angle, Mellanox would likely work with software partners to offer versions aimed at IPsec, SSL or intrusion protection — all turn-key and ready to go. Doud emphasized the security features of BlueField, which are prompting government interest.
They hope the community has done a good job of isolation. You need compute in the storage appliance. It needs compute because you can add a lot of value functions right there close to the storage drive, things like deduplication and even other value add, e. The network itself is becoming more intelligent. Ethernet switches were really dumb 10 years ago; now they do L2 and L3 and they are starting to do other interesting functions.
Mellanox InfiniBand switches actually can do atomic compute operations on InfiniBand packets as they move through their switches. And in the adapter space, Mellanox has been preaching for years the need and the value of offloading certain functions from Intel and having a programmable array of multicore right there on the adapter takes that to the next level.
So programmability is really the new differentiating capability. Some of this is capability is seen in the Dune products [from Broadcom], but what we do in our NPUs is vastly more sophisticated. We are not announcing this today, but it is certainly a vision. The reason for sticking with 28nm was that EZchip was already pretty far along in the project when the Mellanox acquisition happened. Even Intel follows this Tick-Tock cycle, alternating process shrinks and process design to keep the design complexity down and stay on schedule.
That was really a market choice. We chose not to go after HPC. It was not to displace Intel in a server. Companies like Cavium and Qualcomm — those guys are going after Intel.
Additional specifics about the first chip, a more precise timeline and pricing information should be ready by this winter, said the company. Share this:.
End-to-End High-Speed Ethernet and InfiniBand Interconnect Solutions
NewsSemiconductorsTelecom and Communication. NPSdata centre in semiconductors Print Article. EZchip says up to eight NPS chips could be put on a line card, to achieve a 1. But existing customers using the NP-4 will prefer to stay with the NPU family due to the investment already made in software.
EZCHIP NPS PDF
Notify me of follow-up comments via email. NewsSemiconductorsTelecom and Communication. Published book, click here. Open networking Switch chips White boxes Gigabit. The NPS also features an on-chip traffic manager which controls the scheduling of traffic after it has been processed and classified. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Mellanox Indigo is actually Ezchip NPS-400