The Launch of Intel IPU E2100 DPU for the Mass Market: A Comprehensive Review 

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The much-anticipated Intel IPU E2100 DPU has finally been launched. This is not to be mistaken with the Intel Xeon E-2100 series. The newly released DPU is equipped with Arm cores and provides hardware offloads for security, networking and storage. The series, also known by its codename “Mt Evans”, has been under our observation for quite a while now.

The Intel IPU E2100 DPU Hits the Market

Let’s get an idea of what the new DPU entails. The official part number for the DPU is the Intel E2100-CCQDA2. Its design includes two ports that offer flexibility in configurations such as 1x 200GbE, 2x 100GbE, in addition to supporting a split to 4x 25GbE.

The card also accommodates a 1GbE out-of-band management port.

Oneboard’s specifications are quite compelling. It boasts 16 Arm Neoverse N1 cores with a 32MB cache and utilises 3 channels of 16GB LPDDR4x memory, giving it a total of 48GB. Let’s review the official specifications:

Mt Evans IPU was designed to function like an AWS Nitro, but specifically for Google Cloud. The goal was to unload tasks such as NVMe over Fabric, and ensure network security with Intel QuickAssist inspired IP. The Intel IPU E2100 represents the first iteration of this series available to non-Google customers.

During Hot Chips 33, we explored the Intel Mount Evans DPU IPU Arm Accelerator. We first saw the card in person at Intel Vision 2022. Initially, Intel had designed the card with Google’s needs in mind, but they are now extending support to a wider market.

Its programmable packet pipeline, hardware offloads, etc., make this a truly intriguing platform.

Final Words

Today, Intel demonstrated deep packet inspection, OpenVINO with NGINX Plus AI, and even Red Hat OpenShift applications for the IPU. We are excitedly awaiting a pair of these as we are currently conducting tests on the BlueField-3 DPUs. Keep an eye out for that review in the upcoming weeks.
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Samantha Rattner
Samantha Rattner

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