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Xilinx SDNet cranks up programmability

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:softly defined network? SDN? FPGA?

This could play in favour of so-called Fog Computing, where data generated by IoT devices and gateways at the edges of the network could be pre-processed and re-routed according to a set of application specific rules, all configured using the same SDNet software interface.

Other trends facilitated by SDNet include server virtualisation and storage virtualisation whereby a bulk of storage capacity made up of pure memory racks could be used across a data centre at several levels of cache, linked to pure computing racks. This is where you would need very high-speed switches to route the data between storage pools and processing pools, transparently for the end-user.

Looking at its ultimate line card implementation, one could conclude that Xilinx aims at displacing ASICs out of the networking business.

"We are going head-to-head with companies like Broadcom," admitted Garcia. "With our FPGAs, customers can implement exactly what they need, when they need it to address new services, without overprovisioning their line cards, or without having to design unwieldy swiss-army knife ASICs."

Only 18 months after it started shipping its first FPGAs designed at 28nm, the company claims to have a 70 per cent FPGA market share at this node, reflected in the network and server markets. This node alone generated about 350 million US dollars in revenue in last fiscal year and the company hope to double this figure over the current fiscal year.

Being the first to ship 20nm based FPGAs, Xilinx also claims a 100 per cent FPGA market share at this node and hope to keep its market advantage in the networking space by locking the SDNet software development platform to its own devices.

So could ambitious Xilinx become a takeover target?

After a few seconds of silence, Garcia simply declined to comment.

- Julien Happich
??EE Times Europe

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