Exclusive: Intel builds an Israeli team to develop SmartNICs
29 December, 2019
Techtime has learned from sources in Intel Israel, that the new group is planned to operate from Intel’s developments centers in Haifa and Jerusalem
The Data Center Group of Intel Corp. is building a new development team to develop SmartNIC boards for high capacity Data centers and Cloud Infrastructures. Techtime has learned from sources in Intel Israel, that the new group is in its initial phase of buildup, and is planned to operate from Intel’s developments centers in Haifa and Jerusalem.
The main competitor of the future Intel SmartNICs is expected to be Mellanox Technologies, located in Yoqneam, near Haifa. According to unconfirmed reports, Intel had made a bid to acquire Mellanox, but failed: On March 11, 2019 NVIDIA and Mellanox have reached a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Mellanox for $6.9 Billion.
SmartNICs are the new generation of Network Interface Cards (NICs). Originally, a NIC is an adapter that connect each server to the local Ethernet network. SmartNIC adds computational capabilities to the NIC, in order to offload tasks from the system CPU. Using its on-board processors (implemented in ASIC, FPGA or System-on-a-Chip), the SmartNIC performs tasks usually handled by the CPU, such as encryption, decryption, firewall, TCP/IP and HTTP processing. SmartNICs are ideally suited for high-traffic Web servers and Hyperscale Clouds.
“Significant Impact on the Next Generation Network”
SmartNICs are important to support Intel’s stronghold in the Data Centers market. While it is still unclear what is Intel’s road map for its future SmartNICs, a few days ago it has started to look for a lead performance architect for advanced SmartNIC products. “The performance architect will be responsible for a global view of product performance including defining requirements, projections to guide architecture decisions, modeling and simulation.
“The candidate is expected to guide a small team towards architecture trade-off analysis and a high quality performance engineering process. This is a new project in DCG’s Connectivity Group with opportunities to have a significant impact on next generation network components and large scale data center systems,” Intel stated.