At SC22 we saw a NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPU. This is one of the first cards of the next generation of BlueField DPUs that we have seen. The unit features an updated CPU and networking complex as the technology is maturing.
NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPU Breaks Cover at SC22
At SC22, we saw this unassuming card tucked away in a booth. It is a NVIDIA BlueField-3 that appears to be designed for a Lenovo system based on the heatsink design.
On the port side, we still get an out-of-band management port and two networking ports. We are also going to quickly note that like NVIDIA’s consumer GPUs, this new card is sporting a larger heatsink so it is grown to a dual slot solution. Our sense is that this is not going to be how all of the DPUs are built since it will be important to get DPUs into a single-slot form factor, especially since they are already full-height while many vendors search for low-profile solutions.
The networking specs were not announced next to the card, but those appear to be QSFP56 cages since they have much more robust heatsinks around them versus what we normally see on QSFP28 heatsinks.
For those who need a refresher on the specs of the BlueField-3, you can see our NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPU Architecture at Hot Chips 33 piece.
This is going to be a very exciting battle in the data center market. It is great to see a BlueField-3 card actually on the SC22 show floor. We may update this piece as more DPU photos come in since Patrick is scouring the floor.
It is a bit shocking that we now have a Marvell Octeon 10 DPU platform in the lab as well as some lower-end Pensando DPUs (pieces for these coming) and we have not seen a BlueField-3 DPU platform yet. BlueField-3 we have heard is in production but is highly supply-constrained. After seeing the Marvell Octeon 10’s initial performance in the STH lab, it is fairly clear that NVIDIA needs something more substantial than BlueField-2 for its DPU aspirations. BlueField-3’s major architectural overhaul is something we are excited to show you when we can finally get one.