Intel 10nm Agilex FPGA to drive data-center markets

By Pradeep Chakraborty & Aanchal Ghatak


Intel Corp. has announced a brand-new product family, the Agilex FPGAs. It will provide customized solutions to address the unique data-centric business challenges across embedded, network and data-center markets.

Courtesy: Intel Corp.

Intel Agilex FPGAs and SoCs harness the power of 10nm technology, 3D heterogeneous SiP integration and chiplet-based architecture to provide the agility and flexibility required to deliver customized connectivity and acceleration for compute and data intensive applications.

Intel Agilex FPGA highlights are:

  • Compute Express Link: Industry’s first FPGA to support Compute Express Link, a cache and memory coherent interconnect to future Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
  • 2nd Generation HyperFlex: There is up to 40 percent higher performance, or up to 40 percent lower total power, compared with the Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs.
  • DSP innovation: Only FPGA supporting hardened BFLOAT16 and up to 40 teraflops of digital signal processor (DSP) performance (FP16).
  • PCIe Gen 5: Higher bandwidth compared with PCIe Gen 4.
  • Transceiver data rates: Support up to 112 Gbps data rates.
  • Advanced memory support: DDR5, HBM, Intel Optane DC persistent memory support.

Problem it is solving
So far, so good. Now, what is the problem that it is solving?

Data-centric problems require solutions with the ability to aggregate and process increasing amounts of data traffic to enable transformative applications in the emerging, data driven industries like edge computing, networking and cloud.

Whether it’s through edge analytics for low-latency processing, virtualized network functions to improve performance, or datacenter acceleration for greater efficiency, Intel Agilex FPGAs are built to deliver customized solutions for applications from the edge to the cloud.

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) analytics at the edge, network and the cloud are compelling hardware systems to cope with evolving standards, support varying AI workloads, and integrate multiple functions. Intel Agilex FPGAs provide the flexibility and agility required to meet these challenges and deliver gains in performance and power.

Different from competition
How is this different than what the competition provides?

According to a spokesperson, the Intel Agilex FPGA family brings together the power of Intel’s 10nm process technology, 3D heterogeneous System-in-package (SiP) integration with Intel’s proprietary Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) and an innovative chiplet-based architecture to deliver customized connectivity and coherent acceleration.

The benefits from these unique architecture and technology elements are that in the data-centric world, where there is a need to process, store, and move data, Intel Agilex FPGAs provide the agility and flexibility with improvements in performance and power efficiency across a variety of markets.

Process data: Intel Agilex FPGA leverages a second generation HyperFlex architecture to deliver up to 40 percent higher performance, or up to 40 percent lower power, compared to prior Intel FPGAs. The enhancements in the DSP block architecture enable Agilex to deliver up to 40 TFLOPs of floating point performance.

Data storage: Intel Agliex FPGAs support the most advanced memories, including DDR5, and high bandwidth memory (HBM). Intel Agilex FPGA is also the only FPGA to support Intel Optane DC Persistent memory.

Moving data: Intel Agilex FPGAs support Compute Express link, a cache-coherent interface to future Intel Xeon processors and PCIe Gen5, providing high bandwidth for processor communication. Intel Agilex FPGAs also support up to 112G XCVR data rates.

Finally, what is the status of the MCP announced in May 2018, which integrates the Intel Xeon Gold 6138P processor with a built-in Altera Arria 10 GX 1150 FPGA? Intel is currently shipping this product and partnering with Fujitsu on their solution development.

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