One particular of the advantages that servers based on Intel’s 2nd and 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processors have above AMD EPYC-run equipment is assistance for Optane Persistent Memory modules that can be utilised to grow key memory capability reasonably cheaply–something that is crucial for several purposes. But Smart Modular has made a card that can include Optane PMMs to any machine. Ironically, the card is Intel-based.
Apparently, demand from customers for storage-course memory on existing AMD and Arm equipment is substantial plenty of to stimulate Good Modular to create its special Kestral PCIe Optane include-in-card for these servers. The Kestral PCIe Optane AIC carries up to four 512GB Intel Optane Persistent Memory modules and can be plugged into any PCIe 3./4. x16 slot to increase up to 2TB of Optane memory. A PCIe Gen4 x16 slot supports a peak bandwidth of 32GBps in every single direction, which is bigger when as opposed to just one DDR4-3200 memory channel (25.6 GBps), but is decrease when as opposed four DDR4 channels (102.4 GBps).
Intel’s Xeon Scalable ‘Cascade Lake’ and ‘Ice Lake-SP’ processors communicate with Optane Persistent Memory modules that are plugged into standard DDR4 memory slots employing the firm’s proprietary DDR-T protocol, which is not supported by competing CPUs. The protocol is required for Optane PMMs to present a 64B cache line accessibility granularity whilst getting into account the character of these modules (which use a special Optane memory controller).
To make Intel’s Persistent Memory modules do the job on its Kestral PCIe AIC, Wise Modular carries Intel’s Stratix 10 DX FPGA, which totally supports the DDR-T protocol and will work like a DDR4-to-DDR-T memory translator hub. Also, the AIC can use FPGA’s four Arm Cortex-A53 cores to accelerate/permit specified workloads. The board comes with 2GB of DDR4 ECC memory and an 8GB eMMC storage module. The card consumes much less than 75W in memory expansion use conditions and fewer than 100W when employed for memory acceleration. It will come in a full-peak fifty percent-duration (FHHL) sort-component and is geared up with a dual-slot passive cooler. The board can be used for area updates of current servers to assistance new workloads.
When the card is suitable with just about all existing servers (and even upcoming devices with Nvidia Grace CPUs), probably the largest problem to make it work effectively will be generating software package use it correctly. Most likely, for all those buyers who presently use 1000’s of AMD EPYC-primarily based devices and who have to have to repurpose them for distinct workloads that call for pricey memory expansions, usage of Kestral with Optane Persistent Memory modules will make feeling. Others might choose to increase their memory capability working with standard DIMMs, or just wait around for upcoming-generation servers with CXL protocol help.
“With the development of new interconnect standards such as CXL and OpenCAPI, Smart’s new family members of Sensible Kestral AICs addresses the industry’s need to have for a selection of new memory module sort things and interfaces for memory growth and acceleration,” said Mike Rubino, Wise Modular’s vice president of engineering.
Good Modular’s Kestral PCIe Optane AIC is now obtainable for orders from the firm. Pricing is unidentified, but really don’t assume it to be small as we are dealing with a remarkably-specialised merchandise primarily based on a large-finish FPGA.