Stratix II-Based Coprocessing Module is Plug-and-Play Ready for AMD Opteron Processor-Based Systems
San Jose, Calif., June 6, 2006—Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced today that XtremeData Inc. chose Altera’s largest Stratix® II FPGA device for their XD1000 FPGA coprocessing solution. The XD100 FPGA module is pin compatible with the AMDTM Opteron processor, offering developers the ability to accelerate algorithms by up to 100 times and applications by up to 10 times, while minimizing power consumption.
XtremeData’s XD1000 FPGA coprocessor module includes the Altera® Stratix II EP2S180 FPGA and a HyperTransportTM bus. Developers across a wide range of applications—such as medical imaging, data analytics, text searches, network security and scientific computing—now have a “plug and play” solution for adding processing performance to their systems without having to modify their infrastructure.
“The XD1000 FPGA module integrated with a robust development environment represents a significant breakthrough in application acceleration. The coprocessing environment will enable the acceleration of many applications,” said Randy Allen, corporate vice president, Server/Workstation Business, AMD. “This is an elegant solution that allows the users of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms to benefit from continuous performance improvements in both the AMD Opteron processor and the Stratix II family of devices.”
XtremeData has packaged the Stratix II EP2S180 device, the industry’s highest-density, highest-performance FPGA in production, onto a credit card-sized board that fits into the secondary CPU sockets of any 2P or 4P AMD Opteron processor-based motherboard. The XD1000 supports tight board-height form factors, including 1U servers, server blades and Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) platforms. The XD1000 includes multiple HyperTransport interfaces that are 16 bits wide running at 3.2 Gbps. It also features a 128-bit-wide DDR333 memory interface, up to 8 Mbytes of high-speed SRAM and 32 Mbytes of flash memory. Additionally, XtremeData has several next-generation variants of XD1000 planned for future release.
XtremeData used Altera’s SOPC Builder system integration tool and the Nios® II soft-core CPU to develop the XD1000. The XD1000 uses a HyperTransport bus to achieve low-latency communication with the host AMD Opteron processor. This means that the traditional latency chain of CPU-to-north bridge-to-south bridge (via PCI interface)-to-FPGA has been reduced to a point-to-point CPU-to-FPGA link. Compared to competing I/O board systems, the XD1000 offers a more scalable solution. It gives access to more memory (via DIMM modules) and provides higher bandwidth and lower latency interconnects than north bridge solutions, at a much lower total cost of ownership.
“We chose the Stratix II family not only because of its performance and density advantages over other FPGAs, but because Altera’s system-level design software is best in class, enabling us to work faster and more efficiently,” said Ravi Chandran, CEO of XtremeData. Chandran continued: “FPGAs are well understood in many industries as an accelerator. The key to acceleration is parallelism, where an FPGA operating in the subgigahertz range can outperform a multigigahertz CPU via parallelism. It’s similar to how the human brain can outperform CPUs in many tasks by operating in a massively parallel manner.”
For example, FPGA-based hardware acceleration used in medical CT imaging runs the overall application 10 times faster when each 3-GHz AMD Opteron processor is coupled with an FPGA, resulting in significant system-level savings for power, space and cost.
The XtremeData coprocessing development system is a complete design environment. It includes a 2P AMD Opteron processor-based PC with an XD1000 coprocessor module, a reference design containing HyperTransport and DDR interfaces and a JTAG download cable for configuring the FPGA and probing internal FPGA signals using Altera’s SignalTap® II embedded logic analyzer. Altera and XtremeData are committed to jointly developing libraries and tools that can be easily used by application developers. The two companies are also working with several leading universities to make the XD1000 available as a research platform to enable additional innovations.
“The XtremeData coprocessor module utilizes a commodity-based, system-level solution that enables existing x86 applications to be accelerated at significant cost, power and space savings,” said Dr. Misha Burich, Altera’s senior vice president of software and systems engineering. “Now with XtremeData coprocessors installed into COTS CPU platforms, the algorithmic parts of x86 applications can be easily and flexibly accelerated with FPGAs, via parallelization and pipelining.”
About XtremeData Inc.
XtremeData Inc., is a privately held Chicago-area startup developing innovative computing solutions. For more information on the availability of the XD1000, please visit www.xtremedatainc.com.
Altera’s programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Find out more at www.altera.com.