Platforms based on Intel® Xeon® processors and the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series offer new opportunities for system developers to accelerate packet processing functions, such as encryption and compression, without the significant investment involved in new software development. The Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series can be used as a highly integrated chipset solution, dedicated packet processing accelerator or both.

 

In this blog I am going to explore the benefits of using Intel® Xeon® processors and the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series. For this blog I am using implementation examples from Premier members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance Advantech, Emerson and Kontron. The 200-plus members of the Alliance collaborate closely with Intel® to create hardware, software, tools, and services to help speed intelligent systems  to market.

 

Chipset Development

 

Processor and chipset development has taken several significant integration steps over the last few years. The introduction of the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series represents the next step in this process.

 

The latest Intel® Xeon® processors integrate memory controllers, QPI interfaces between cores, and up to forty PCI Express (PCIe) interfaces, supporting a total I/O bandwidth significantly in excess of 100Gbit/s. This has removed several bottlenecks from the system giving processor cores direct access to system memory and low latency interfaces. The Intel® C600 Series Chipset used previously with Intel® Xeon® Processors E5-2600 and E5-2400 Series integrates a single Gigabit Ethernet MAC and many peripheral interfaces including PCIe, USB, SATA, SAS, UARTs and GPIO.

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Figure 1. The Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series incorporate communications accelerators and communications I/O.

 

The Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series shown in Figure 1 takes this integration to the next level.  The devices integrate four Gigabit Ethernet MACs, many peripheral interfaces and hardware acceleration for Intel QuickAssist technology. The Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series is connected to the Intel® Xeon® Processor through the x4 DMI Gen2 (like the Intel® C600 Series Chipset) or through the PCIe x8/16 Gen interfaces.

 

Integration Options

 

Figure 2 shows an ATCA Blade with two Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 Family processors and the Intel® C600 Series Chipset. Also shown is the rear transition module (RTM) that integrates two disk drives and a single Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series device that can be used to accelerate encryption and compression performance to at least 10 Gbps. This provides an alternative to using a dedicated security device and supports high performance computing, dual drive storage and 10Gbps encryption and compression in a single ATCA slot. This blade also has space for a single AMC module allowing the integration of further functionality.

 

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Figure 2. ATCA Blade with Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series on RTM (Source: Kontron)

 

An alternative approach to integrating the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices on an ATCA blade is shown in Figure 3. This design has two Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices on an optional mezzanine module. Each accelerator device is connected to a Intel® Xeon® Processors E5-2600 processor through the PCIe Gen 2 x16 interface supporting up to 64Gbps. This implementation will support up to 40 Gbps security processing. The blade also has dual 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fabric interfaces to the ATCA backplane.

 

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Figure 2. ATCA Blade with Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series on RTM (Source: Kontron)

 

An alternative approach to integrating the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices on an ATCA blade is shown in Figure 3. This design has two Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices on an optional mezzanine module. Each accelerator device is connected to a Intel® Xeon® Processors E5-2600 processor through the PCIe Gen 2 x16 interface supporting up to 64Gbps. This implementation will support up to 40 Gbps security processing. The blade also has dual 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fabric interfaces to the ATCA backplane.

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Figure 4. Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series based mezzanine module and  PCIe card (Source: Advantech)

 

Figure 4 also shows a PCIe card with four Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices. This card can be used to provide encryption and compression acceleration to any system with a standard PCIe slot.

 

Building on DPDK

 

Intel® QuickAssist Technology defines a unified set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices work directly with the Intel® QuickAssist Technology’s Accelerator Abstraction Layer (AAL). The platform also delivers exceptional packet processing performance by running performance optimised libraries from the Intel data plane development kit (DPDK). This allows system developers to quickly take advantage of the new hardware acceleration included in the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series without long and expensive software development.

 

Looking Forward

 

  Platforms based on Intel® Xeon® processors and the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series deliver unprecedented packet processing performance with standard IA processors. This gives system developers significant flexibility to use a common processor platform adding hardware acceleration where required using mezzanine modules or RTMs in ATCA platforms. This architecture will allow further performance increases with the introduction of future processors and chipset solutions.

 

workload_consolidation.pngFor more on building flexible networking solutions, see intel.com/go/embedded-consolidation

 

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For more on flexible, scalable, standards-based communications visit intel.com/go/embedded-communications

 

 

Advantech, Emerson and Kontron are premier members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance.

 

Simon Stanley

Roving Reporter (Intel® Contractor), Intel® Embedded Alliance

Principal Consultant, Earlswood Marketing

Follow me on Twitter: @simon_stanley