FPGAs and Data Centers: It Takes a Stack

CATEGORIES : All, Data Center, Design Challenges/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Design experience across a wide range of applications—from signal processing to network packet processing to cryptography to deep learning inference—has shown that, properly used, FPGAs can provide very substantial performance and power  improvements in algorithm execution. Generally, these improvements come from implementing computational kernels—the inner loops of the algorithm—in the FPGA hardware, offloading these kernels […]

Whither NFV and What Is It, Anyway?

CATEGORIES : Network/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV): the phrase has been around for years, seeming a market always on the verge of explosive growth, but never a done deal. It is time to ask what NFV really is, and whether it is really going to happen. Perhaps more importantly, it is time—in this day of cloud services and […]

Why Isn’t 56 Gbps Impossible?

CATEGORIES : Transceiver Technology/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

How fast can you force data through a pair of wires? It is a trick question, of course. The answer depends on the wires, the material and geometry around them, the distance, and your choice of transceiver technology. Worst-case, your answer may be tens of megabits per second (Mbps). In even modest data networking applications […]

Embedded Computing Needs Hardware-Based Security

CATEGORIES : Embedded system/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Embedded systems are in a profound transition: from physically isolated, autonomous devices to Internet-connected, accessible devices. Designers are learning—often to their dismay—that the mutation requires far more than just gluing a network interface onto the bus and adding an Internet Protocol stack. In many ways, these Internet-aware designs are coming to look less like traditional […]

Embedded Computing on the Edge

CATEGORIES : Embedded system, IoT/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Embedded computing has passed—more or less unscathed—through many technology shifts and marketing fashions. But the most recent—the rise of edge computing—could mean important new possibilities and challenges. So what is edge computing (Figure 1)? The cynic might say it is just a grab for market share by giant cloud companies that have in the past struggled […]