Intel unveils infrastructure processing unit for cloud and communication service providers

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 16, 2021

The new architecture helps resolving challenges of stranded resources, congested data flows and incompatible platform security.

Intel has unveiled its vision for the infrastructure processing unit (IPU), a programmable networking device designed to enable cloud and communication service providers to reduce overhead and free up performance for central processing units (CPUs).

The device is meant to help customers better utilise resources, enabling them to balance processing and storage.

“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 customer and partners — the IPU exemplifies this collaboration,” said Guido Appenzeller, chief technology officer, Data Platforms Group, Intel

Infrastructure processing unit

The IPU is a programmable network device that intelligently manages system-level infrastructure resources by securely accelerating those functions in a data centre.

The device has a dedicated functionality to accelerate modern applications built using a microservice-based architecture in the data centre and manage evolving data centre requirements.

“With the IPU, a cloud provider can securely manage infrastructure functions while enabling its customer to entirely control the functions of the CPU and system memory,” Intel said.

“This new architecture will help resolve today’s challenges of stranded resources, congested data flows and incompatible platform security,” it said.

This architecture will have three categories of computing — CPU for general-purpose compute, XPU for application-specific or workload-specific acceleration, and IPU for infrastructure acceleration. These will be connected through programmable networks.

Intel will roll out additional FPGA-based IPU platforms and dedicated ASICs.

Published on June 16, 2021

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