Alibaba Cloud Selects Xilinx for FPGA Cloud Acceleration

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, has chosen Xilinx for “next generation” FPGA acceleration in their public cloud.

alibaba cloudFaced with exponential growth in computing requirements and the inability for CPU technology to keep pace, today’s cloud providers would be moving toward accelerated computing architectures.

Alibaba Cloud offers “high-performance”, elastic computing power to over two million customers at the moment. Based on Xilinx FPGAs, the new ‘F2’ instances would give Alibaba Cloud customers access to acceleration for data analytics, genomics, video processing, and machine learning workloads.

Xilinx FPGAs deliver the performance, flexibility, and application breadth needed by today’s ever changing cloud workloads,” said Steve Glaser, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Xilinx. “F2 instances offer the opportunity to develop and publish hardware-accelerated data center applications to millions of customers on Alibaba Cloud.”

CPU-Based Architectures

FPGA accelerators would compliment CPU-based architectures and deliver both performance and power efficiency – working in tandem with a server’s CPU. Alibaba Cloud has recently revealed that the processing efficiency of F2 instances can be up to 30 times higher than CPUs alone, “resulting in more cost effective cloud solutions.”

“FPGAs are popular general-purpose parallel accelerators meeting the evolving computing needs of data center workloads,” said Jin Li, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud. “We look forward to working with Xilinx to harness advancements in heterogeneous computing.”

The announcement follows the news of another China-based company deploying FPGA accelerators from Xilinx. Three months ago, Baidu also deployed Xilinx FPGA – to accelerate performance of application services in their public cloud offering.