Tech leaders join forces to create a framework for data centres

25th May 2016
Joe Bush

Advanced Micro Devices, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Mellanox, Qualcomm Technologies (a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated) and Xilinx have joined forces to bring a high performance open acceleration framework to data centres.

The companies are collaborating on the specification for the new Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators (CCIX). For the first time in the industry, a single interconnect technology specification will ensure that processors using different instruction set architectures (ISA) can coherently share data with accelerators and enable efficient heterogeneous computing - significantly improving compute efficiency for servers running data centre workloads.

Accelerating applications in the data centre has become a requirement due to power and space constraints. Applications such as big data analytics, search, machine learning, NFV, wireless 4G/5G, in-memory database processing, video analytics and network processing, benefit from acceleration engines that need to move data seamlessly among the various system components. CCIX will allow these components to access and process data irrespective of where it resides, without the need for complex programming environments. This will enable both off-load and bump-in-the-wire inline application acceleration while leveraging existing server ecosystems and form factors, thereby lowering software barriers and improving total cost of ownership (TCO) of accelerated systems.

“AMD strongly supports development of open standards to make heterogeneous computing more pervasive,” said Gerry Talbot, AMD Corporate Fellow and Vice President of I/O and Circuit Technologies. “By joining with others in the industry to develop new interconnect specifications to accelerate performance, AMD continues its commitment to open, heterogeneous computing.”

“A ‘one size fits all architecture’ approach to data centre workloads does not deliver the required performance and efficiency,” said Lakshmi Mandyam, Director Server Systems and Ecosystems, ARM. “CCIX enables more optimised solutions by simplifying software development and deployment of applications that benefit from specialised processing and hardware off-load, delivering higher performance and value to data centre customers.”

“IBM Power Systems have recently demonstrated a total commitment to openness as a catalyst for industry innovation, creating benefits in cost and performance to clients in a post-Moore’s Law era,” said Brad McCredie, IBM Fellow and Vice President of POWER Development. “IBM is committed to working with like-minded industry leaders to expand our efforts around open coherency to help meet our clients' growing cognitive needs.”

“CCIX enables greater performance and connectivity capabilities over existing interconnects, and actually paves the road to the next generation CPU - Accelerator - Network standard interface,” said Gilad Shainer, Vice President of Marketing at Mellanox. “With an anticipated broad eco-system support of the CCIX standard, data centres will now be able to optimise their data usage, thereby achieving world leading applications efficiency and scale.”

“Qualcomm Technologies is excited about the development of a new technology enabling efficient, high performance architectures in an open, ISA-agnostic platform,” said Vinay Ravuri, Vice President of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies. “The data centre of the future demands open architectures enabling choice of compute, acceleration and interconnect technologies, and this is a significant step forward in delivering on that goal.”

“CCIX will leverage existing server interconnect infrastructure and deliver higher bandwidth, lower latency and cache coherent access to shared memory,” said Gaurav Singh, Vice President of Architecture at Xilinx. “This will result in a significant improvement in the usability of accelerators and overall performance and efficiency of data centre platforms.”

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