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Mellanox Introduces ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 Secure Cloud SmartNICs and I/O Processing Unit Solutions

August 2019 by Marc Jacob

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. introduced ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 – next-generation cloud SmartNICs and I/O Processing Unit (IPU) solutions, delivering unprecedented data center security, performance and efficiency at massive scale, for any workload. Continuing Mellanox’s innovation in high-performance cloud fabrics, ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 make the impossible possible by introducing cutting-edge hardware acceleration engines and best-in-class software programmability to mission-critical applications. They deliver new levels of security and efficiency with the highest return on investment (ROI) for hyperscale, enterprise, and telco environments.

ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs provide up to two ports of 25, 50 or 100Gb/s, or a single port of 200Gb/s, Ethernet connectivity powered by 50Gb/s PAM4 SerDes technology and PCIe 4.0 host connectivity. The ConnectX-6 Dx innovative hardware offload engines include IPsec and TLS inline data-in-motion crypto, advanced network virtualization, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), and NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) storage accelerations.

The BlueField-2 IPU integrates all the advanced capabilities of ConnectX-6 Dx with an array of powerful Arm processor cores, high performance memory interfaces, and flexible processing capabilities in a single System-on-Chip (SoC), supporting both Ethernet and InfiniBand connectivity up to 200Gb/s. BlueField-2 based embedded controllers are ideal for building highly efficient and cost-effective flash storage, security, IoT and edge computing platforms. BlueField-2 based SmartNICs act as a coprocessor that puts a computer in front of the computer to transform bare-metal and virtualized environments using advanced software-defined networking, NVMe SNAP storage disaggregation, and enhanced security capabilities. Furthermore, BlueField-2 delivers unmatched performance and efficiency for AI workloads in the cloud or at the network edge.

Secure Cloud and Data Storage

ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 are uniquely positioned to address the immense cloud security challenges by delivering protection at every data center server, storage, and edge computing endpoint. ConnectX-6 Dx provides a wide range of security-centered innovations, including IPsec, TLS, and AES-XTS built-in cryptographic acceleration, and Hardware Root of Trust. In addition to the above capabilities, BlueField-2 adds accelerated key management, integrated Regular Expression (RegEx) pattern detection, secure hash computation, and more.

Highly Efficient and Scalable Bare Metal and Virtualized Clouds

ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 deliver the latest generation of Mellanox’s ASAP2 – Accelerated Switch and Packet Processing® technology – with built-in SR-IOV, Open vSwitch (OVS), and VirtIO hardware accelerators. Introducing additional network virtualization offloads, enhanced programmability and extreme scale, ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 enable highly efficient hyperscale cloud and SDN/NFV data-centers, with a smooth transition from previous ConnectX and BlueField generations

Accelerate Storage, Big Data and AI with Best-in-Class RDMA

ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 provide unparalleled RDMA performance over Ethernet and InfiniBand with enhanced programmability and robustness, for accelerating the most demanding workloads at extreme scale. Advanced traffic management innovations enable communications to run seamlessly over ordinary networks, making RoCE the enterprise-grade, easy-to-use, network transport technology of choice.

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