One of many early bulletins of MWC 2019 final week was the brand new FPGA PAC N3000 card from Intel. Intel's networking enterprise has significantly centered on the corporate over the previous few years because it presents thrilling alternatives for each Intel as a vendor and potential buyer.
Intel's new PAC answer represents a brand new step within the firm's portfolio and is aimed straight at telecom operators going through ever-increasing visitors. Specifically, Intel markets the necessity for such specialised (however versatile) options to deal with the transition to 5G.
Conventional options should be primarily based both on software program options which might be usually too sluggish or rigid, or on devoted silicon that requires excessive funding prices and lengthy implementation occasions. The brand new FPGA PAC N3000 goals to mix the advantages of each worlds and obtain considerably greater throughput than can be attainable with software program acceleration, whereas being versatile sufficient for patrons to make use of rapidly and simply.
On the coronary heart of the brand new card is an Arria 10 GT1150 FPGA chip with 1.15 million logic components, which represents Intel's Arria vary of SKUs.
The reminiscence configuration of the brand new PAC N3000 appears unusual at first look, provided that it’s 9GB DDR4. In reality, this can be a three-tier DRAM subsystem: The cardboard has 8GB of 64-bit DDR4, 1GB of 16-bit DDR4, and 144MB of QDR IV reminiscence. It’s because the totally different storage hierarchies serve totally different workloads operating on the map, with totally different duties having their very own optimized storage tiers and taking full benefit of the totally different bandwidth and latency traits. For instance, Intel explains that the 1GB of 16-bit DDR4 reminiscence has a decrease latency buffer than the complete 8GB buffer, and the 144MB QDR buffer is much more latency-optimized, and is especially helpful for internet hosting QoS. Tables of the software program stack.
Community connectivity is supplied by two Intel Converged Community Adapters XL710 built-in into the cardboard, that are served by two QSFP ports. This gives connectivity of as much as 100 Gbps in 8×10 or 4×25 Gbps configurations.
We obtained our palms on the map on the MWC 2019 stand and present extra particulars: The cardboard is a half-length single-slot board with a PCIe three.zero x16 connector.
Curiously, the board itself is a multi-PCB design – sadly Intel didn’t allow us to take away the heatsink or element the innards, but it surely's straightforward to think about that the higher PCB layer harbors the XL710 community card parts, whereas the motherboard hosts the FPGA.
The again of the cardboard appears lots like a graphics card, and we will detect Micron DDR4 chips in a four + 1 configuration (64 + 16-bit channels).
Intel's purpose with the cardboard is to offer community operators with a quick answer to their 5G community wants and supply a time and adaptability benefit over competing (probably extra built-in) options.