FPGAs for SmartNICs

In a recent blog, we talked about the term “SmartNIC”and what they can do. At Accolade Technology we use FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) as the basis for our SmartNICs. FPGAs are semiconductor devices that are based around a matrix of configurable logic blocks connected via programmable interconnects. If you don’t understand what that means, don’t worry, you are not alone.

The name actually tells you all you need to know about FPGAs in terms of why they are valuable. “Field Programmable” is key because that means they can be updated or in other words the code or logic to the semiconductor can be modified at will; even after the product is shipped and out in the field or marketplace. The term “Gate Array” simply means that a programmer (FPGA engineers actually prefer to be called “Designers”) can design the gates or logic in the FPGA to perform whatever action they want. For example, in the case of Accolade ANIC adapters our designers program the device to parse packets in unique and helpful ways such as stripping off unnecessary headers or sorting packets into unique flows.

Today there are two major vendors for FPGAs: Xilinx and Intel (acquired Altera in 2015). Accolade has standardized on Xilinx from day one, but to an Accolade customer that doesn’t really matter as they just use the product and don’t need to worry about who produced the underlying device.

Host CPU Offload Product Features Summary
wdt_ID Speed 1G 10G 10G 10G 10G/40G 10G/40G 100G 100G 100G 100G
1 Model ANIC-4Ku ANIC-20Ku ANIC-40Ku ANIC-40Kq ANIC-80Ku ATLAS-1000
Platform
ANIC-100Kq ANIC-200Ku ANIC-200K
Flex
ANIC-200Kq
2 Port/Type 4 X 1G SFP 2 X 10GSFP+ 4 X 10GSFP+ 1 X 40G4
X 10GQSFP+
2 X
40G8 X
10GQSFP+
SFP+
2 X
40GQSFP4
X10GSFP+
1 X
100GQSFP28
2 X
100GCFP4
2 X
40G2 X
100GQSFP28
2 X
100GQSFP28
3 PCIe Interface Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16
4 Dimensions
(H x L inches)
4.25 x 6.5   4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 1.75 x12.28x14 4.25 x 10.5 4.25 x 10.5 4.25 x 6.5 4.25 x 10.5
5 Memory 32MB 4G 4G 4G 4G 16/32G 12G 12G 8G 12G
6 Timestamp 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 4 nS 4 nS 4 nS 4 nS
7 100% Packet
Capture
8 Gigamon, Arista
Timestamp
9 Packet Merging
10 Packet Parsing

About Accolade

Accolade is the technology leader in FPGA-based Host CPU Offload and 100% Packet Capture PCIe NIC’s and Scalable 1U Platforms. Accolade’s line of 1-100GE products enable 100% packet capture, flow classification, flow shunting, deduplication, packet filtering and more. Our customers are global leaders in network monitoring & cybersecurity applications as well as in the network test and measurement, telecom and video stream monitoring markets.

FPGA Acceleration Features

100% Packet Capture | Flow Classification | Flow Shunting | Precise Time Stamping | Packet Merging | Packet Slicing | Packet Parsing | Packet Filtering | Deduplication | Host Packet Buffer | Packet Steering | Direct Memory Access (DMA) | Statistics (RMON1)

Free Product Evaluation

Resolve all your host CPU offload bottlenecks. Share Your Technical Requirements with our FPGA and software experts to tailor the optimal solution. Accolade offers a 60 day free product evaluation for qualified customers to fully test and evaluate our products.