Sunday, February 21, 2021

DPU: Data Processing Unit, NVIDIA DOCA

First used to be "Floating Point Unit" coprocessor (Intel 287), then GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), 

and now NVidia comes with "Data Processing Unit" to help network communication in cloud / data centers. And similar to previous solution for Machine Learning SDK (NVIDIA CUDA), 
for "DPU"s they have now developed "DOCA SDK". This could be part of the reason for very expensive purchase of ARM company. 

Amazon / AWS has also developed similar specialized solution for AWS EC2 compute instances
called "Nitro", that offloads network, security and management to a separate board, feeing full CPU and GPU power for user tasks. 

What Is a DPU? | NVIDIA Blog

Specialists in moving data in data centers, DPUs, or data processing units, are a new class of programmable processor and will join CPUs and GPUs as one of the three pillars of computing.

What's a DPU?

System on a chip that combines:

  • Industry-standard, high-performance, software-programmable multi-core CPU
  • High-performance network interface
  • Flexible and programmable acceleration engines

very useful description in this podcast interview:

The Cloudcast: The New Economics of Cloud Infrastructure

Intel better come with some relevant innovation soon... 

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