Samsung uses Xilinx FPGA for first adaptable computational storage drives

November 11, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
Samsung uses Xilinx FPGA for first adaptable computational storage drives
A fully customizable and scalable Samsung SmartSSD computational storage platform uses a Xilinx Kintex FPGA

Samsung Electronics has developed an adaptable storage drive for computational storage using an FPGA from Xilinx.

The SmartSSD CSD is the industry’s first adaptable computational storage platform that can deliver processing of data in the drive rather than using a server in a data centre. The programmable storage platform that developers can use to create a variety of unique and scalable accelerators that solve a broad range of data centre problems. The drive accelerates data processing performance of functions such as encryption, database management, search or video transcoding by 10x or more.

The SmartSSD CSD is a standard 2.5-inch (U.2) form factor solid state drive in a 25W power envelope. It offers a physical storage capacity of 4TBs, with the ability to hold up to 12TBs of data or more when combined with accelerated transparent compression. An integrated Xilinx Kintex UltraScale+ FPGA chip built in the drive provides more than one million system logic cells and nearly 2,000 DSP (digital signal processing) slices for hardware acceleration. 330 LUTs are available for custom IP.

The Xilinx Vitis library of functions can be used to develop applications for the drive without requiring VHDL or Verilog hardware programming. Runtimes, libraries, APIs, and drivers can be built into the system using common high-level languages such as C, C++ and OpenCL. 

In addition, Xilinx has launched a high-performance, easy-to-deploy data encryption solution built on dm-crypt. This uses standard Linux kernel modules to create turnkey acceleration applications that scale across multiple SmartSSD CSDs.

“Processing data is the key to unlocking value,” said Pej Roshan, vice president of marketing, Data Center Group at Xilinx. “The SmartSSD CSD empowers a broad new range of developers to harness the benefits of computational storage and quickly deliver compelling applications to solve a host of thorny data center challenges. From transparent compression to next-gen AI inferencing acceleration, the range of functions performed on the SmartSSD CSD is limited only by a developer’s

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