Our Systems Architect Adam Lister has identified 5 cards that are enquired about most frequently. (in no particular order)
Xilinx XtremeScale X2541 PLUS
AL: The X2451 Xtremescale card from Xilinx is the ‘big brother’ to the X2522. It is a single port 100GbE card that can either add large bandwidth or high density to your accelerated compute stack.
The single QSFP28 port can deliver 100Gb/s ethernet whilst still maintaining its low latency nature, with near-zero jitter. If you have requirements for multiple network interfaces but are limited on PCIe availability, the X2541 can also ‘break out’ into 4x logical low latency connections, giving you quad-port low latency options in a single x16 slot.
Xilinx XtremeScale X2522 PLUS
AL: The Xilinx Xtremescale X2522 (formerly Solarflare Flareon 7000/8000 series) network adaptor has been the staple 10/25Gb choice in the world of High-Frequency Trading for many years, and for good reason. They have reliable and predictable low latency, crucial in reducing and managing your tick to trade latency through a compute node.
Coupled with the PLUS variants inclusive PTP and Onload (kernel bypass) functionality, the X2522 PLUS adaptor provides electronic and automated trading environments with great value small packet throughput and sub-microsecond latency.
Xilinx ALVEO U250
AL: For much larger FPGA / offload type workloads, we support and deploy a range of full-height full-length double-width FPGA and co-processor options. The most popular of which being the Alveo U250. The U250 has 64GB of memory and 2x QSFP28 100GbE ports, allowing for high bandwidth and larger logic to be applied directly to the card when compared to the smaller FPGA-based NICs above.
Our Blackcore low latency high-frequency servers feature an optimized and accelerated PCIe bus that can improve NIC and FPGA performance and provide lower latency than our peers. Especially when comparing PCIe slot latency to a commodity ‘standard’ X86 server.
Cisco Nexus SmartNIC K3P-S (X25)
'This card is the fastest network adapter built by Cisco.'
AL: The Cisco Nexus K3P-S SmartNIC (formerly Exablaze ExaNic X25) is another of our lowest latency 10/25GbE adaptor options, available for our HFT servers. In our testing, the X25 outperformed the competition in terms of overall latency.
This is achieved by pre-computing the next outgoing packet, which is then only triggered via PCIe, rather than sent completely, lessening the PCIe operation(s). The Nexus SmartNIC’s FDK provides application logic to the device, enabling it to act as a standalone trading platform, with less frequent callbacks to the host CPU. Our tests conclusively proved also, that using HFT accelerated compute has a demonstrable effect, even when the reliance on the CPU is reduced.
Cisco Nexus SmartNIC K3P-Q (X40)
AL: Our second most common card from Cisco is the K3P-Q card that also sits above its smaller sibling, the K3P-S. The K3P-Q is a dual-port QSFP28 card that can deliver 2x 25GbE or 4x 10GbE on a single half-height x8 card. Offering excellent density in the smaller x8 form factor, with latencies as low as sub 600ns.
The ‘all FPGA’ nature of the Cisco SmartNICs allows developers to offload from the CPU and apply logic directly to the cards themselves, bypassing the CPU and kernel.
Here at Blackcore, we pride ourselves on our ability to be flexible for our clients and to make their life easier. We don’t just sell industry-leading technology we build long term relationships with our clients to ensure Blackcore delivers them the full package, from cards to enterprise servers to high-performance workstations. To learn more about our added services please speak to your Account Manager.
Alternatively, book a call and speak to our experts to find a solution.
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