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Exar's Panther security chip ready for Big Data

Posted: 08 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Exar Corp? big data? security chip?

Exar Corp recently revealed details regarding its second-generation Panther-II compression and security chip as well as its plan to integrate the novel file-system level compression/decompression technology it acquired from Altior Inc. into future generations of Panther.

Exar's president and CEO Louis DiNardo stated that Panther is designed for structured data, but there are big opportunities in unstructured data that the company also wants to address. The company recently acquired Altior's AltraFlex to address this Big Data market.

Like the original Panther, the second generation Panther-II will provide compression, decompression, encryption and decryption services for compute-bound applications in need of hardware acceleration. However, future generations of Panther will also adopt Altior's AltraFlex technology designed to meet the needs for sophisticated software analytics running on Big Data within the enterprise and cloud-based applications.

Altior's current implementation uses a field-programmable gate-array (FPGA) to process unstructured data at about 15Gbits per second, but Exar plans to port AltraFlex to their Panther line of ASICs thus boosting its throughput to 40Gbits per second. And unlike the application-level compression offered by current generation Pather ASICs, Exar's new AltraFlex derived solution will run under the operating system kernel, allowing a single PCI-e card to compress Big Data by up to 50 per cent, and in a manner transparent to users and programmers.

"You just plug-in the PCI-e card, and it starts compressing at the file system level," said DiNardo. "It's a unique solutionthere is really nothing else like it available today."

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Figure 1: The second generation Panther-II compression and security engine has a PCI-e interface for board-level implementations plus can be accelerated with an external FPGA.

By using more than one AltraFlex-inspired Panther together, throughput of file-based unstructured data compression and decompression can be boosted to even higher throughputs, according to DiNardo, such as achieving 80-Gbits per second with two future-generation Panthers.

- R Colin Johnson
??EE Times





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