Samsung SmartSSD computational storage drive released

23rd November 2020
Alex Lynn

Xilinx and Samsung Electronics have  announced the availability of the Samsung SmartSSD Computational Storage Drive (CSD). Powered by Xilinx FPGAs, the SmartSSD CSD is an adaptable computational storage platform providing the performance, customisation, and scalability required by data-intensive applications.

The SmartSSD CSD is a flexible, programmable storage platform that developers can use to create a variety of scalable accelerators that solve a broad range of data centre problems. It empowers a new breed of software developers to easily build innovative hardware-accelerated solutions in familiar high-level languages.

The SmartSSD CSD accelerates data processing performance by 10x or more for applications such as database management, video processing, artificial intelligence layers, complex search, and virtualisation.

“Processing data is the key to unlocking value,” said Pej Roshan, Vice President of Marketing, Data Center Group at Xilinx. “The SmartSSD CSD empowers a broad new range of developers to harness the benefits of computational storage and quickly deliver compelling applications to solve a host of thorny data center challenges. From transparent compression to next-gen AI inferencing acceleration, the range of functions performed on the SmartSSD CSD is limited only by a developer’s imagination.”

“The industry is beginning to realise just how much the SmartSSD CSD will be able to boost performance in the datacenter and far beyond, and with the latest Xilinx tools for application development we anticipate dramatic growth in a wealth of acceleration applications,” said Jim Elliott, Corporate Senior Vice President of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor.

Incorporating a Xilinx FPGA accelerator, the SmartSSD CSD pushes high-speed computation closer to where the data lives, bypassing server CPU limits. The reduced data movement lowers latency and power consumption for accelerated data processing speed and efficiency.

The SmartSSD CSD allows enterprises to keep up with user demand for faster access to data without being forced to purchase more servers, driving up CAPEX and OPEX. Additionally, host CPU resources are freed up to handle other higher-level tasks more efficiently.

The Xilinx adaptable platform

The SmartSSD CSD platform is designed to enable the easy creation of custom applications by harnessing theVitis unified software platform and accelerated libraries. Both developers and enterprise appliance vendors can quickly go-to-market with pre-built customised applications.

Runtimes, libraries, APIs, and drivers can be built into the system using common high-level languages such as C, C++ and OpenCL.

In addition, Xilinx has launched a high-performance, easy-to-deploy data encryption solution built on dm-crypt. By leveraging standard Linux kernel modules, SmartSSD CSD developers can utilise Vitis libraries to create turnkey acceleration applications that scale effortlessly across multiple SmartSSD CSDs.

Turnkey accelerated applications

Xilinx ecosystem partners have developed a compelling range of turnkey applications that deliver accelerated data processing for services like big data analytics, video transcoding and search-in-storage.

Representative accelerated solutions, include:

  • Big data/data analytics – SmartSSD CSD with Bigstream’s hyperacceleration layer allows customers to increase time-to-insight by up to ten times on the Apache Spark unified analytics engine for big data.
  • Search-in-storage – Lewis Rhodes Labs (LRL) applies novel neuromorphic processing with the SmartSSD CSD to find ‘needle-in-a-haystack’ data from large data lakes by searching petabytes in minutes. LRL’s deterministic processing accelerates queries up to 100x faster than other solutions.
  • Video file transcoding – CTAccel’s pre-built SmartSSD CSD solution performs high performance image processing that improves server throughput and latency while reducing up to 60% of video transcoding costs.
  • Transparent compression – Eideticom’sNoLoad NVMe CSD enables up to ten times more storage capacity, increased line-rate compression performance, improved CPU utilisation, and reduced memory bandwidth pressure.

Drive specifications and availability

The SmartSSD CSD is a standard 2.5” (U.2) form factor solid state drive in a low 25W power envelope. It offers a physical storage capacity of 4TBs, with the ability to hold up to 12TBs of data or more when combined with accelerated transparent compression. The integrated Xilinx Kintex UltraScale+ FPGA accelerator features more than one million system logic cells and nearly 2,000 DSP (digital signal processing) slices for hardware acceleration.

SmartSSD CSDs are available for pre-order today and will begin shipping with general availability in January through Xilinx and its authorised distributors, by agreement with Samsung.

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