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Intel unveils next-gen Agilex FPGA range for data-hungry applications

Written by Wed 3 Apr 2019

Intel flexes 10-nanometer (10nm) manufacturing on FPGAs for the first time to fabricate processors for use cases in AI, finance and IoT

It’s fair to say that we have been eagerly anticipating Intel’s next-generation of data centre FPGAs for a while.

Almost two years ago “Falcon Mesa” was previewed for the first time, promising new high-end FPGAs to address accelerating compute needs in “wireless 5G, network function virtualization (NFV), automotive, industrial, and military/aerospace applications.”

Yesterday Intel officially took the wraps off its new family of data centre FPGAs based on its 10nm process. The Agilex family, expected to be available for purchase in Q3, targets the growing data centre demand for customisable FPGAs that can manage colossal amounts of data.

FPGAs are fabricated around a web of configurable logic blocks that remain configurable after manufacturing, and can even be reprogrammed after being deployed in devices. This allows them to run algorithms targeted for specific workloads, increasing both performance and performance-per-watt efficiency.

Next-generation

The Agilex family are the first Intel FPGAs fabricated using the 10nm process, which it combines with 3D system-in-package (SiP) miniaturisation technology. 10nm fabrication allows billions of more transistors to be added to FPGAs than in previous ranges.

Together with its second-generation HyperFlex architecture, Intel says the Agilex line thus boasts up to 40 percent higher performance than its current FPGA range. The FPGAs also exploit the new high-bandwidth Compute Express Links to speak to CPU cores. The new standard allows different processors to simultaneously write to the same memory space.

Agilex is the first range of FPGAs Intel has released following its $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera in 2015.

“In the data centre, customers will experience unparalleled flexibility and agility with better-than-ever acceleration of high-value workloads in applications,” said Dan McNamara, corporate VP and GM of PSG at Intel. “With Intel Agilex FPGAs, customers will drive advances in health, medicine, science, technology and more, in addition to the core business advantages of making decisions faster using bigger data sets.”

Written by Wed 3 Apr 2019

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data centre fpgas Intel
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