CAPI enabled FPGA accelerator cards suit POWER8 processors

7th April 2016
Jordan Mulcare

BittWare has announced an OpenPOWER CAPI Developer's Kit for its Xilinx FPGA-enabled accelerator cards. Providing a fast, efficient way to connect the Xilinx All Programmable FPGA to a CAPI-enabled IBM POWER8 system, the developer's kit includes the FPGA accelerator card, IBM Power Service Layer (PSL) IP to provide the connection to the POWER8 chip, CAPI host support library, and an example CAPI design.

The FPGA accelerator card included in the kit is BittWare's XUSP3S, which is a ¾-length PCIe board featuring the Xilinx Virtex UltraScale VU095, four QSFPs for 4x 100GbE and flexible memory configurations with up to 64GBytes of memory and support for Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC).

Most FPGA accelerators use PCIe to connect to the host processor unit. IBM has developed CAPI (Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface) as an alternative that takes some of the overhead and complexity out of the I/O subsystem by providing a direct interface between the host and the FPGA. Developers can run their specific FPGA solutions as a peer to the IBM POWER8 cores, enabling higher system performance with less programming complexity.

"BittWare is pleased to work with Xilinx and IBM to offer CAPI enabled FPGA acceleration platforms for POWER processors," said Ron Huizen, VP of Systems and Solutions, BittWare. "Our XUSP3S board is a compelling option for data centre applications, and with the addition of CAPI will now allow our customers to develop their applications even more quickly and efficiently."

"CAPI on POWER8 systems provides a high-performance solution for implementing customer-specific, computation-heavy algorithms on an FPGA," said Sumit Gupta, VP, High Performance Computing & Data Analytics, IBM. "The IBM solution enables higher system performance with a much smaller programming investment, allowing hybrid computing to be successful across a much broader range of applications. BittWare's CAPI support brings this innovation to an even wider range of customers."

"The demand for FPGA acceleration in data centres is increasing, and with that the need for innovative, high performance accelerator solutions," said Curtis Pulley, Data Centre Business Manager, Xilinx. "The CAPI-enabled Xilinx FPGA-based offerings from BittWare are a great addition to the OpenPOWER ecosystem and extend our efforts to deliver industry-leading solutions for IBM POWER systems."

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