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XtremeData readies fastest Altera FPGA-based Intel FSB module

Posted: 23 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FSB module Intel? FPGA? Xeon processor?

The folks at Altera and XtremeData have announced the availability of what they say is the industry's fastest FPGA/Intel Xeon processor-based front-side bus (FSB) module. Equipped with multiple Altera Stratix III FPGAs and using Intel QuickAssist Technology, the XtremeData XD2000i In-Socket Accelerator (ISA) showcases the 1066MHz co-processing solution.

The XD2000i family offers the highest density Stratix III FPGAs in the smallest footprint available in the market. The module uses three FPGAs, one as a bridge to system resources in Intel Xeon processor-based servers, leaving the other two available to run user applications in typically found in military, financial, medical, and bioscience markets.

XD2000i co-processor modules substantially accelerate applications via parallelization and pipelining, while simultaneously reducing overall system power consumption and latency. In the Stratix III FPGA-based FSB module, a 4X acceleration is expected when running the Monte Carlo Black-Scholes algorithm in double-precision floating point when compared to RapidMind's graphics processing unit (GPU) single-precision results published earlier this year for 1 million paths per option. The XD2000i module is also said to enjoy power, space, and memory error correction coding (ECC) advantages over current GPUs: power is sub-60W and the module can be packed densely into a blade form factor. This FPGA co-processing solution opens up a number of new opportunities in markets where Intel-based servers are presently being used.

The combination of an Intel Xeon 5000 series processor and a Stratix III FPGA coprocessor in the XD2000i module are claimed to provide customers with the highest performance FSB accelerator available while delivering significant cost, power and space savings.

Intel is enabling tightly coupled, in-socket, FPGA-based accelerators. Placing the Stratix III FPGA-based XD2000i in one of the Intel Xeon processor sockets gives the coprocessor a high-speed link to memory as well as a fast connection to the host processor, without requiring board modifications, thus providing designers with a simple hardware integration path. A new version of the XD2000i module will be available in the third quarter of this year that will work with quad socket boards to provide over 500K logic elements (LEs) and 1,536 multipliers with separate FSB processor interconnect.

The entire XD2000i family of ISAs for Intel Xeon dual-processor platforms is now shipping in production volumes. Additionally, the Intel Xeon multiprocessor versions of the XD2000i ISA family will be available in the third quarter of 2008.

- Clive Maxfield
Programmable Logic DesignLine

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