At Intel Vision 2022 this week, Intel revealed its plans for its next-gen DPU families. Intel actually revealed a few new details about its plans, and more about the software stack around them. We actually have an IPU demo recorded, and pictures of one coming, likely in the next two weeks, but this is a precursor piece discussing where the technology is going.
Intel IPU Plans Revealed for 800Gbps IPUs in 2025
Much like we have the STH NIC Continuum Framework, Intel has several products in its IPU family. The two main ones that Intel focused on this week at Vision 2022 were the ASIC IPUs and the FPGA IPUs. With ASICs, one gets higher performance and lower cost/ power. With FPGAs, one gets more programmability allowing for upgrades to the data path after the cards have been deployed.
The big new reveal this week is that Intel is going to continue the ASIC + FPGA IPU design for several generations. In addition to Oak Springs Canyon (FPGA plus Xeon CPU) and the Intel Mount Evans IPU / Arm DPU for the 200Gbps generation in 2022, the company is lookkign ahead to the next-generations. Specifically, there will be Hot Springs Canyon as the FGPA plus Intel CPU and then Mount Morgan for the ASIC offering at 400Gbps speeds in 2023-2024. Then, is the 800Gbps generation in 2025-2026 where Intel plans to have both ASIC and FPGA solutions again. That is 800Gbps to server nodes in three years for some frame of reference.
A big part of the transition to the DPU/ IPU era is all of the software work. We actually just did a ZFS without a Server Using the NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU piece. NVIDIA’s solution is DOCA/ SNAP. Intel is working with what it calls the Infrastructure Programmer Development Kit or IPDK. Intel successfully launched the DPDK (data plane development kit) and that has moved beyond intel into an industry force. Intel’s goal is to not just have its solutions, but even DPUs from other vendors plug into that framework.
Here is Intel’s summary of the news:
Overall a lot of very cool stuff.
Looking ahead to the next few weeks on STH, we have an IPU demo coming, so you can see what having an IPU in a system offers. We have a really cool NVMeoF demo that I think will help folks understand what is going on more clearly.
Stay tuned to STH as we get to that demo later this month. For now, get excited for 800Gbps networking to servers in only a few years and what that will mean for delivering storage and other services to servers.