Mellanox boosts SmartNICs and IPU prowess for cloud, data center

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Prior to its full integration into NVIDIA, Mellanox is making waves with technology to accelerate cloud computing setups. (Mellanox)

Mellanox Technologies announced next-generation SmartNICs and I/O processing unit (IPU) technology for greater efficiency and security for cloud, data center and storage deployments. This comes as the company is set to be acquired by NVIDIA before the end of the year.

The new ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs and BlueField-2 IPU introduce hardware acceleration and software programming for mission critical uses, Mellanox said in a statement on Monday in conjunction with the VMworld conference.

The products are meant to work in telecom, enterprise and hyperscale settings.

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ConnectX-6 DX provides up to two ports of 25, 50 or 100 Gbps connectivity or a single port of 200 Gbps. The BlueField-2 IPU helps integrate the capabilities of ConnectX-6 Dx with an array of Arm processor cores in a single SoC with both Ethernet and InfiniBand connectivity up to 200 Gbps.  

Cloud computing is becoming the norm so enterprises are beginning to rely on their data center infrastructures to deploy workloads, whether they are running across public, private or edge domains, said Baron Fung, a director at Dell’Oro Group, in a statement. As a result, there’s a need for high performing SmartNICs.

SmartNIC markets are expected to grow at 40% annually, topping $500 million by 2023, Dell’Oro said.

Baidu has partnered with Mellanox to support Baidu’s machine learning platforms with fast processing. Baidu issued a statement saying the new programmable Smart NICs and IPUs should help accelerate AI applications.

IBM, F5, Lenovo and other companies also said they interested in the new acceleration capabilities.

NVIDIA is buying Mellanox for $6.9 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

RELATED: Mellanox chases Intel for top spot in Ethernet adapters

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