Thursday, February 2, 2023

Enhance Server Compute Capacity With FPGA Based Network Interface Card

By Sharad Bhowmick

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  • The SmartNIC offers communication service providers scalability, allowing them to manage large volumes of subscribers and devices without adding latency or power.
  • The module offers an energy-efficient performance by combining the resources of FPGA and ARM
iWave’s SmartNIC storage Accelerator card (Source: iWave)

iWave’s SmartNIC storage Accelerator card is an FPGA-based network interface card that can enhance the server’s compute capacity. The SmarNIC can help offload the tasks from the host server’s CPU and accelerate the workload. This can enhance the connectivity and communication between a computer and a network which can further increase the data and signal processing capability of the server.

The SmartNIC features Dual front panel QSFP DD Cages-2x 200GbE/4x 100Gbe Ethernet and high-performance storage extension with triple NVMe slots. The module also offers The 3/4 Length PCIe Gen3 x16 host interface on the board that connects the SmartNIC to the computer/server. A NIC card can help you leverage the internet speeds offered by the service provider. The FPGA-based network interface card offers multiple advantages including better security functions that can protect the CPU from malicious attacks.

The module offers an energy-efficient performance by combining the resources of FPGA and ARM. It offers a balance for networking applications, with high performance and power efficiency. Furthermore, the SmartNIC is capable of reducing latency and can achieve a latency of around one millisecond (ms). Being a reprogrammable FPGA, the module offers communication service providers scalability, allowing them to manage large volumes of subscribers and devices without adding latency or power.

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According to the company, the main components of the Network Interface Card include high-speed networking along with high-performance onboard storage of 8GB 72bit DDR4 RAM with an error correction code for the processing system and 16GB 128bit RAM for programmable logic. The SmartNIC also features a heterogeneous ARM+FPGA architecture that offers up to 1143K programmable logic cells. It is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 with a CPU running at 1.5GHz, a Dual Cortex R5 Real-Time processor running at 600MHz, and an ARM Mali 400MP2 Graphical Processing Unit, presenting a highly adaptive platform with high performance. The SmartNIC is suitable for use in network servers, PCs, and other hosts running on different operating systems.


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