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Here's what an Intel Broadwell Xeon with a built-in FPGA looks like

Writing code is so 2013 – you wanna write some hardware instead

Pic At the OCP Summit last week in San Jose, California, Intel quickly mentioned it will later this year ship Xeon processors with built-in FPGAs.

Chipzilla will also release open-source software libraries allowing people to program these customizable gate arrays to take workloads off the CPUs and perform them in hardware. Intel has been mulling this hybrid design for a while, and conveniently bought FPGA biz Altera last year.

Our sister publication The Next Platform snapped a slide of the Xeon-FPGA mutant at the conference, and noted that the hybrid package will use Broadwell EP CPU cores and Altera Arria 10 GX FPGA designs. In the photo, we can count 15 CPU cores.

These arrays can be programmed to accelerate algorithms – from compression and encryption to AI and analytics – all in hardware using Intel's forthcoming libraries.

"The goal is to create [a] library collection so that users can, in theory anyway, take their FPGA and suddenly have an SSL encryption accelerator or a machine learning library accelerator — all on the fly and with the ability to tweak and tune," noted TNP coeditor Nicole Hemsoth.

This all comes as chip designers are packing more accelerators on their dies, for example, Oracle with its Sparc M7 SQL-query-crunching engines.

A larger picture, full context, and more detail on Intel's Xeon-FPGA plans are over here, on The Next Platform. ®

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