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FPGA/Xeon-based ISA provides 1066MHz coprocessing

Posted: 26 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA? Xeon? coprocessing? interconnect?

Altera Corp. and XtremeData Inc. have demonstrated the operational XD2000i FPGA/Intel Xeon processor-based front side bus (FSB) module, which targets the Intel FSB at 1066MHz for coprocessing applications.

The companies claim that the combination of an Intel Xeon 5300 series processor and Stratix III FPGA coprocessor in the XD2000i module provides customers with the highest performance FSB accelerator available. The XD2000i provides high-performance application acceleration ranging from 10X to 100X compared to processors alone, while simultaneously reducing overall system power consumption. The solution is designed for accelerating applications such as mapping the human genome or data analytics for the financial market applications.

"The combination of an Altera Stratix FPGA with a high speed, low latency FSB interface to Intel's latest processors results in significant algorithm acceleration for customer applications," said Misha Burich, Altera's senior VP of research and development. "These customers will derive exceptional value through the application speed up as well as the savings in power and space provided by FPGA-based coprocessing."

When XtremeData coprocessor modules are installed into commercial off-the-shelf CPU platforms, the algorithmic parts of applications are substantially accelerated via parallelization and pipelining. Also, the XD2000i is pin-compatible and plugs directly into the processor socket of dual- or quad-socket servers. The device is designed to stay within Intel's defined keep-out area, so customers can integrate in-socket accelerators in their Intel Xeon DP rack-mount servers, blade systems and ATCA platforms.

"Using Altera's Stratix III FPGA, the XD2000i delivers up to five times the logic capacity of previous generations of ISAs. Additionally, it offers unparalleled double-precision floating performance per watt, the key benchmark requested by our customers in high-performance computing and financial analytics," said Ravi Chandran, CEO of XtremeData.

"The XtremeData XD2000i ISA using Intel QuickAssist Technology will allow our mutual customers in financial analytics, network security, life sciences and medical imaging to have a great FPGA coprocessing solution for the Intel platforms," said Lorie Wigle, director, server software and technology initiatives, digital enterprise group, Intel Corp. "Intel has taken an open approach to tightly coupled ISAs, like the XD2000i, not only by providing the physical ability to connect to the FSB and the Intel QuickAssist Technology accelerator abstraction layer, but also by working with companies like XtremeData to create fully optimized FSB-attached solutions."

The Intel Xeon offers a high-bandwidth, low-latency interface to other processors and memory via the FSB interconnect. Placing the Stratix III FPGA in one of the Xeon sockets gives the coprocessor a high-speed link to memory as well as a fast connection to the host processor without requiring board modifications, while providing a simple hardware integration path. Stratix III FPGAs provide the XD module with an abundant amount of logic and enables Intel-based systems with approximately 1 million logic elements and 2304 multipliers with a fast FSB processor interconnect.

Altera also plans to support the Intel QuickPath Interconnect interface in a new generation of the Stratix FPGA family. The QuickPath Interconnect will be used in future Intel processors to interface to other processors and memory.

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