by Anton Shilov
10/16/2013 | 11:37 PM
Tilera Corp.’s Tile-Gx programmable multi-core chips have been utilized by numerous special-purpose servers in order to accelerate specific workloads for some time now. While the chips have proven their efficiency, they remained out of the mass market since few institutions can afford building proprietary servers with integrated Tile-Gx. In a bid to address the mass market, Tilera on Wednesday introduced accelerator boards with its Tile-Gx programmable processors.
The TilEncore-Gx adapters are uniquely designed to eliminate data plane and security processing bottlenecks in datacenters, enabling commercial, off-the-shelf servers to keep up with exponentially growing data traffic by decoupling data plane functions from the control plane. Server virtualization further magnifies the demands on the x86 CPUs as the server compute resources are shared among the application layer, the virtualization layer and the data/security plane.
The TilEncore-Gx adapters provide a scalable, software-programmable data plane and hypervisor-offload solution, allowing the server processors to utilize all available resources for control, application and virtualization layer functionality. Powered by a linearly scaling architecture and compatible software, the entire family of adapter cards can be deployed in commercial off-the-shelf servers, reducing development costs through software re-use while accelerating time-to-market.
TilEncore-Gx family of intelligent application adapter (IAA) cards, with four models incorporating 9, 16, 36 and 72 cores of high-density compute are available immediately. The adapter cards feature the market-leading Tile-Gx 64-bit many-core processors in a PCI Express form factor to enable software-defined application offload at unprecedented performance levels, scaling from 10Gb/s to 80Gb/s. Each accelerator card comes equipped with its own memory and ports and is ready to be incorporated into appropriate general-purpose server.
The Tile-Gx processor family is optimized for networking, video, and cloud applications. The family includes processors with 9, 16, 36, or 72 identical processor cores (tiles) interconnected with Tilera's iMesh on-chip network. Each core consists of a full-featured 64-bit processor core as well as L1 and L2 cache and a non-blocking mesh which connects the core into the Tilera intelligent mesh (iMesh). Up to 23MB of coherent cache is available and the high-end Tile-Gx devices can address up to 1TB of DDR3 memory.
The TILE-Gx processors are programmed in ANSI standard C/C++ or Java, using the familiar GNU tool chain, enabling developers to leverage their existing software investment. Tiles can be grouped in clusters to apply the appropriate, deterministic amount of horsepower to each application, or a homogeneous “sea of compute” approach can be used to distribute work among a large array of cores. The Tile-Gx CPU cores are adept at a variety of processing workloads and can replace multiple CPU and DSP subsystems for both the data plane and control plane.
Network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) paradigms require solutions in which up to 70% of the processing workload is consumed in the programmable networking and security domains. A heterogeneous-based computing model employing the Tile-Gx processors for high-throughput network and security workloads coupled with x86 CPUs for control plane and virtualized applications results in the optimum system configuration as measured by throughput, scalability, power and overall costs.
The TilEncore-Gx adapters are ideal for offloading L2-7 packet-processing functions along with entire packet and flow processing applications to reduce the server core utilization, increase overall application performance and extend server life cycles.
“At Empirix, we collect and correlate the widest array of network data and transform it into real-time actionable intelligence for enhancing customer experience, performance management and strategic business decision making. Tilera’s TilEncore-Gx Intelligent Adapters are a perfect fit for our systems today and tomorrow, delivering full-fidelity, 80Gbps wire-speed performance, while at the same time enabling us to run sophisticated traffic monitoring and diagnostics in conjunction with Deep Packet Inspection (DPI),” said Tim Moynihan, vice president of marketing at Empirix.
Pricing of the TilEncore-Gx adapters is unknown, but it will probably be comparable to other accelerator and co-processor cards on the market, such as Nvidia Quadro or Intel Xeon Phi.
“Fine-grained traffic visibility at 10, 40 and 100Gbps is crucial for today's networks and new service-aware architectures based on SDN and NFV. The TilEncore-Gx platforms are able to completely offload our ixEngine DPI processing software at wire-speeds and free the host server CPU for higher-level application functions,” said Thibaut Bechetoille, chief exec at Qosmos.