Xilinx FPGA features in OpenPOWER-based CAPI acceleration kit

June 11, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Alpha Data has a CAPI acceleration development kit targeting the ADM-PCIE-7V3 board. The kit will enable designers to use Xilinx All Programmable FPGA devices attached to the coherent accelerator processor interfaces on IBM POWER8 systems.

The development kit includes the PSL (Power Service Layer) to provide the infrastructure connection to the POWER8 chip, examples of user defined AFU (Accelerator Function Units), as well as OS Kernel extensions and library functions specifically for CAPI. This solution significantly reduces the development time required to offload data processing applications to FPGAs.

The Alpha Data ADM-PCIE-7V3 PCIe form factor add-in card uses Xilinx FPGAs to deliver application-specific acceleration for Big Data workloads. The ADM-PCIE-7V3 is IBM Power8 CAPI capable, featuring a Xilinx Virtex-7 X690T FPGA with dual 10Gigabit SFP+ ports for direct networking attach, two on-board SO-DIMMs for computing from local memory, and dual SATA interfaces for local data storage. OpenPOWER systems with AlphaData co-processors provide an ideal solution for next-generation data-centres.

“Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) removes the software overhead for processor communication with the I/O subsystem, allowing an accelerator to operate as part of an application. CAPI on POWER8 systems provides a high-performance solution for the implementation of client-specific, computation-heavy algorithms on an FPGA. IBM’s solution enables higher system performance with a much smaller programming investment, allowing hybrid computing to be successful across a much broader range of applications,” comments Brad McCredie– OpenPOWER Foundation President and IBM Fellow

“Alpha Data is working closely with Xilinx to accelerate innovation,” said Hemant Dhulla, vice president of wired communications and data center at Xilinx. “Xilinx recently demonstrated a 36X performance/watt improvement on a Big Data application with an IBM POWER8 system and Alpha Data’s CAPI development kit. The collaboration between Alpha Data, Xilinx, IBM, and the OpenPOWER Foundation is producing breakthrough performance using Xilinx All Programmable FPGAs.”

Alpha Data; www.alpha-data.com/capi?src=pr / www.alpha-data.com/7v3

For more information about CAPI see the IBM White Paper: www-304.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/capi/CAPI_POWER8.pdf