The pace of change for data center architecture has been fierce over the past few years. Advancements in technology are relieving IO bottlenecks and ushering in a new era that will be dominated by Terabit computing for servers. Chiplet-based architecture for server class CPUs, for example, is driving innovation among processor vendors as they reexamine the technology that goes into individual components. Network Interface Cards (NIC) are also evolving from their role as a peripheral device. SmartNICs are now the IO hub of the server.
This white paper from Xilinx explores the benefits of SmartNICs, including optimal per-bit processing efficiency and the elimination of redundant data movement. The paper provides an illustration of an example SmartNIC configuration for block storage visualization and computational storage with Vitis hardware acceleration. The paper also explains why a portable NIC architecture is important.
Xilinx provides details on the Alveo SN1000, their first SmartNIC product that supports both the composable data plane and portable NIC architecture, as well as Terabit processing. They assert that this type of product will drive next generation data centers.