Mellanox introduces new BlueField family of system-on-chip programmable processors for storage and networking applications

Mellanox Technologies, a leading supplier of high performance cloud and storage networking solutions, has announced the local availability of the BlueField family of programmable processors for networking and storage applications.

Networks Unlimited, a Mellanox distribution partner, will offer the BlueField family of devices for sampling to customers in more than 20 African countries in the first quarter of 2017, with additional family members in the second half of 2017.

"There is an increasing need in the industry for higher levels of system-on-chip (SoC) integration," says Anton Jacobs, MD of value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited. "Customers in the region require a simplified system design with better energy management at a reduced cost."

The BlueField family features Mellanox's latest generation ConnectX network acceleration technology integrated with an array of high-performance 64-bit ARMv.8 processor cores and multiple virtual protocol interconnect (VPI) 100Gb/s networking ports supporting InfiniBand and Ethernet. The advanced SkyMesh coherent on-chip interconnect – proven in multiple generations of Tilera processors – enables scalable performance and leading power efficiency.

The result is a device that delivers unmatched levels of integration for multiple applications, including dataplane offload for network functions virtualisation (NFV), advanced networking and security, and serving as the embedded storage controller of an array of solid state Flash drives.

Key technical features:

* Industry-leading network I/O, with both Ethernet and InfiniBand support. 
* Multi-rate ports supporting 10, 25, 40, 50, 56 and 100 Gb/s. 
* Comprehensive networking offloads including VXLAN, NVGRE, GENEVE overlay networks, RSS, TSS, HDS, LRO, LSOv2, RDMA, and RoCE. 
* Low latency NVMe over Fabrics translation between PCIe and Ethernet/InfiniBand. 
* High-bandwidth PCIe controllers with Gen3 and Gen4 support as well as SRIOV. 
* Tiled array of ARMv8 processor cores with unified virtual memory system. 
* Three-level cache hierarchy with scalable distributed hardware coherency. 
* Multi-DDR4 memory controllers with ECC, supporting up to 2667MT/s. 
* Integrated security acceleration for protocols including IPsec, SSL/TLS, DTLS and data-at-rest applications. 
* High-performance crypto acceleration for AES, SHA, RSA, DSA, Elliptic Curve and Diffie-Hellman. 
* Integrated cores leverage the vast ARM software ecosystem for development tools and pre-ported applications: Typical runtime environment is based on KVM/Linux and standard frameworks and applications such as DPDK, OVS, Ceph, and so on. 
* Accelerated NFV and open virtual switch offload support.

The BlueField family of devices is ideal for intelligent PCIe programmable adapters for advanced server offload for cloud, Web 2.0, big data, storage, enterprise, HPC, and NFV applications. In addition, a new generation of scalable solid-state storage appliances can incorporate BlueField as a highly integrated storage controller SoC, with optimised I/O features together with the throughput and low-latency needed to keep up with the latest Flash-based drives.

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