Infrastructure processing unit launched by Intel for cloud providers

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Infrastructure processing unit launched by Intel
Infrastructure processing unit launched by Intel for cloud providers

The infrastructure processing unit has dedicated functionality to accelerate modern applications that are built using a micro-service-based architecture in the data centre

To enable cloud providers and telcos to free up performance for central processing units (CPU), America’s Intel Corporation on Tuesday launched an infrastructure processing unit (IPU) – a programmable networking device.

“The IPU is a new category of technologies and is one of the strategic pillars of our cloud strategy. It expands upon our SmartNIC capabilities and is designed to address the complexity and inefficiencies in the modern data centre. At Intel, we are dedicated to creating solutions and innovating alongside our customers and partners – the IPU exemplifies this collaboration”, said Guido Appenzeller, chief technology officer, Data Platforms Group, Intel.

Allowing cloud operators to shift to fully virtualized storage and network architecture, unveiled during Intel’s Six Five Summit, the infrastructure processing unit works by accelerating some system-level infrastructure functions in a data centre.

The infrastructure processing unit has dedicated functionality to accelerate modern applications that are built using a micro-service-based architecture in the data centre.

A cloud provider, while enabling its customer to control the functions of the CPU and system memory, can securely manage infrastructure functions with the IPU.

The infrastructure processing unit also offers opportunities to accelerate infrastructure functions, including storage virtualization, network virtualization, and security with dedicated protocol accelerators; shifting of storage and network virtualization functions that were previously done in software on the CPU to the IPU; improve data centre utilization, and enable cloud service providers to customize infrastructure function deployments.

“As a result of Intel’s collaboration with a majority of hyperscalers, Intel is already the volume leader in the IPU market with our Xeon-D, FPGA and Ethernet components”, said Patty Kummrow, vice president in the Data Platforms Group and general manager of Ethernet Products Group at Intel.

“The first of Intel’s FPGA-based IPU platforms are deployed at multiple cloud service providers and our first ASIC IPU is under test”, Kummrow added.

Next, Intel will roll out additional FPGA-based infrastructure processing unit platforms and dedicated ASICs to serve evolving data centres that will require a new architecture where large-scale distributed heterogeneous compute systems work together and are connected seamlessly to appear as a single compute platform, the statement added.

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