Blockchain’s Burden

Blockchains are spreading. Originally proposed in 2008, by the still-unidentified Satoshi Nakamoto, as a secure public ledger for recording Bitcoin transactions, blockchains have moved beyond Bitcoin to a profusion of other cryptocurrencies, and beyond cryptocurrencies into a plethora of other applications (Figure 1). Figure 1. Blockchains are evolving to implement a wide range of services that […]

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 […]

Learning from the Next-Gen Firewall

CATEGORIES : Data Center, IoT, System Security/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Torrents of packets will cascade into the data center: endless streams of data from the Internet of Things (IoT), massive flows of cellular network traffic into virtualized network functions, bursts of input to Web applications. And hidden in the cascades, far darker bits try to slip through: cyber attacks. They may seek to interfere with […]

In-Memory Computing Versus Data Center Networks

CATEGORIES : Computing, Data Center/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

For data-center architects it seems like a no-brainer. For a wide variety of applications, from the databases behind e-commerce platforms to the big-data tools in search engines to suddenly-fashionable data analytics to scientific codes, the dominant limitation on application response time is storage latency. But DRAM keeps getting denser, and solid-state drives (SSDs) cheaper. And […]

Can 10 Gbps Ethernet be an Embedded Design Solution?

CATEGORIES : Data Center, Ethernet/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

10 Gbps Ethernet (10GbE) has established itself as the standard way to connect server cards to the top-of-rack (ToR) switch in data-center racks. So what’s it doing in the architectural plans for next-generation embedded systems? It is a tale of two separate but connected worlds. Inside the Data Center If we can say that a […]