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SMART Modular offers up to 2TB of Optane Memory expansion on a PCIe interface

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

SMART Modular Technologies Inc., a division of SGH, has launched the SMART Kestral PCIe Optane Memory Add-in-Card (AIC), which is able to add up to 2TB of Optane Memory expansion on a PCIe-Gen4-x16 or PCIe-Gen3-x16 interface independent of the motherboard CPU. SMART’s Kestral AICs accelerate selected algorithms by offloading software-defined storage functions from the host CPU to the Intel FPGA on the AIC.

SMART’s Kestral memory AICs are ideal for hyperscale, data center, and other similar environments that run large memory applications, and would benefit from memory acceleration or system acceleration through computational storage.

“With the advancement of new interconnect standards such as CXL and OpenCAPI, SMART’s new family of SMART Kestral AICs addresses the industry’s need for a variety of new memory module form factors and interfaces for memory expansion and acceleration,” stated Mike Rubino, SMART Modular’s vice president of engineering. “SMART is able to leverage our many years of experience in developing and productizing controller-based memory solutions to meet today’s emerging and continually evolving memory add-on needs of server and storage system customers.”

Key benefits include more memory per server at lower cost per gigabyte; field upgrades for new algorithms and protocols; seamless upgrades for existing servers with custom memory solutions; and support for multiple memory technologies and protocols, including Intel Optane DIMMs, DDR4 RDIMMs, and LRDIMMs.

Technical specifications:

* Full-Height, Half-Length (FHHL), dual slot form factor

* Less than 150W Thermal Design Power (TDP) using a passive heatsink

* Intel Stratix 10 DX FPGA enabled with multiple IP support for defining custom solutions

* Quad Core ARM A53 with dedicated on-board 2GB DDR4 memory and 8GB storage acceleration

* Four DIMM slots with two independent channels, which can be populated with four Optane DIMMs up to 512GB each or two DDR4 RDIMMs up to 256GB each

Future AICs from SMART will be capable of supporting 4TB of Optane Memory in persistent App Direct Mode via normal load/store semantics for all CPU architectures—freeing up precious, direct-attached DDR DIMM slots. SMART Kestral memory cards are ideal for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) training servers, permitting large algorithms to be developed quickly and without risk of failure during a power loss event.

By: DocMemory
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