According to this VMware blog published in January, VMware has expanded its array of supported hardware accelerators in its vSphere hypervisor to include support for the Intel® Programmable Acceleration Card with Intel® Arria® 10 GX FPGA (Intel® PAC with Intel® Arria® 10 GX FPGA). Why? The VMware blog explains:
“The highly parallel architecture of FPGAs allows for higher performance, lower latency, lower power consumption, and higher throughput for computations. Typical workloads for FPGA devices include Network Function Virtualization (NFV), deep neural networks, digital signal processing, and cryptography workloads.”
Intel PAC with Intel Arria 10 GX FPGA is a PCIe-based FPGA accelerator card for data centers that offers both inline and lookaside acceleration. It provides the performance and versatility of FPGA acceleration and is one of several Intel platforms supported by the Acceleration Stack for Intel® Xeon® CPU with FPGAs.
The VMware blog continues:
“To use the Intel® Arria® FPGA with VMware vSphere, version 6.7 Update 1 is required. DirectPath I/O is the only supported method today. This means that the hardware address of the PCIe device (the FPGA in this case) is directly exposed in the virtual machine.”
In addition to the VMware vSphere, version 6.7 Update 1, you’ll need the VMware SR-IOV (single root input/output virtualization) driver for the Intel Xeon CPU and the Intel PAC with Intel Arria 10 GX FPGA, which is for VMware Hypervisor version ESXi 6.7 U2. You’ll find that SR-IOV driver and an associated toolkit here in the Intel Download Center.
VMware is a member of the Intel® FPGA Partner Program.
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