Monday, June 16, 2014

Altera Collaborates with Microsoft on Software Defined Data Centers

Microsoft Research is testing Altera's FPGAs to accelerate its Bing search engine and other cloud services.

Details on the project were disclosed in a research paper titled, “A Reconfigurable Fabric for Accelerating Large-Scale Data Center Services” that was presented by Microsoft at the 41st International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in Minneapolis. (link to the paper is below)

Altera’s software defined data center technology offerings are based on the company’s high performance Stratix V and Arria 10 FPGAs, and next-generation Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs which are manufactured using the Intel 14 nm Tri-Gate process and feature Altera’s high-performance HyperFlex architecture.

The Microsoft paper describes a testbed of 1,632 servers accelerated by FPGAs and achieving a very significant reduction in latency compared with commodity servers.

“Altera FPGAs help Microsoft meet the challenging workload requirements of high performance computing, while they help data centers stay within necessary cost, power efficiency and space limits,” said Michael Strickland, director of the Compute and Storage business unit, Altera. “Adding fine-grained FPGA acceleration to the compute fabric advances data center capabilities beyond what commodity server designs can provide.”

  • In March 2014, Altera and Intel announced their collaboration on the development of multi-die devices that leverage Intel’s package and assembly capabilities and Altera’s programmable logic technology. The collaboration is an extension of the foundry relationship between Altera and Intel, in which Intel is manufacturing Altera’s Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs using the 14 nm Tri-Gate process.  The new collaboration targets multi-die devices that integrates monolithic 14 nm Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs with other advanced components, which may include DRAM, SRAM, ASICs, processors and analog components, in a single package. 


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