Solarflare X2 NICs Deliver Super Low Latency

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Solarflare has announced the general availability of X2, its second generation of XtremeScale NICs.

For modern data centers, X2 lays a new foundation for NIC-based network virtualization needed for their highly distributed applications with thousands of inter-connected cloud services, machine learning, and big data workloads. X2 is the first and only NIC platform that can establish ultra-scale connectivity to thousands of virtual networks, while at the same time providing real-time packet and flow information. The combination of ultra-high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, ultra-scale connectivity and packet telemetry allows X2 NICs to serve as the Industry’s first commercial platform for micro-segmented NIC fabric services that scale with each server, VM or container.

X2 makes data center-wide deployment of these capabilities cost-effective. Although X2 NICs provide superior performance and the SmartNIC abilities to enable network services, a 25GbE X2 NIC from Solarflare offers a cost advantage over comparably configured NICs from Broadcom, Intel, and Mellanox.

Solarflare NICs have proven themselves in servers with Intel processors, however data centers need processors with more cores and lower power. Qualcomm answers the call for more efficient data center computing with the Centriq 2400 server processor, an Arm-based processor with up to 48 cores, and the world’s first 10-nanometer server processor.

Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processors deliver leading-edge performance and energy efficiency enabling data center operators to achieve new levels of total cost of ownership savings with their computing infrastructure,” said Ram Peddibhotla, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies. “With software-defined NIC fabric technology alongside power and cost-efficient Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processors, Solarflare allows customers the flexibility to adopt best of breed solutions.”

Built with the all-new Solarflare X2 Ethernet controller ASIC, X2 is a family of powerful, intelligent, 10/25/40/50/100GbE NICs in PCIe and OCP form-factors that outperform more expensive specialty adapters. XtremeScale X2:

  • Is a platform for data center-wide NIC Fabrics delivering micro segmented acceleration, telemetry and security services that scale with each server, VM or container. For data center traffic engineers, the fabric services running on X2 adapters are software-defined so that network traffic can be shaped and automated using well defined APIs.
  • Provides more than 2x the throughput of previous 40G Solarflare NICs, and superior small packet performance with latency as low as 150ns—3x lower than the previous Solarflare performance leader. For acceleration, X2 NICs include ScaleOut Onload and DPDK kernel bypass fabric services. X2 also supports the precision timing protocol (PTP) fabric service for apps that require synchronized time stamping of packets down to the single-digit nanosecond.
  • Is a programmable NIC that performs packet inspection and classification. Inside the ASIC of every X2552 OCP NIC is an XtremePacket Engine which provides this general-purpose NIC the unique ability to perform real-time inspection. A variety of tools and services are available to shape the visibility, security and performance of the network traffic using this valuable packet data.

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