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NVIDIA launches NVIDIA Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx SmartNIC

The new SmartNIC extends accelerated computing by leveraging software-defined, hardware-accelerated engines to offload more security and network processing from CPUs.

NVIDIA launched the NVIDIA Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx SmartNIC — a highly secure and efficient 25/50 gigabit per second (Gb/s) Ethernet smart network interface controller (SmartNIC) — to meet surging growth in enterprise and cloud scale-out workloads.

ConnectX-6 Lx, the 11th generation product in the ConnectX family, is designed to meet the needs of modern data centers, where 25Gb/s connections are becoming standard for handling demanding workflows, such as enterprise applications, AI and real-time analytics.

The new SmartNIC extends accelerated computing by leveraging software-defined, hardware-accelerated engines to offload more security and network processing from CPUs.

“Modern cloud and enterprise data centers rely on accelerated networking to address their scalability and compute challenges,” said Amit Krig, senior vice president of software and NIC products in NVIDIA’s Mellanox networking business. “ConnectX-6 Lx SmartNIC delivers cost-effective, accelerated and secure networking for the new era of disaggregated, composable data centers.”

Accelerated security features such as IPsec in-line cryptography and Hardware Root of Trust, and a 10x performance improvement for Connection Tracking, enable Zero Trust security throughout the data center. Best-in-class RDMA over converged Ethernet (RoCE), advanced virtualization and containerization, and NVMe over Fabrics storage offloads provide highly scalable and performant networking.

“The server industry is rapidly transitioning from 10GbE to 25GbE network speeds with very fast growth expected. With increasing requirements being placed on the network, more offloads need to be performed on SmartNICs,” said Scott Raynovich, founder and chief technologist of Futuriom, a technology research firm. “NVIDIA’s Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx enables SmartNIC offloads, including advanced switching and security, in a cost-efficient 25/50GbE solution.”

The Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx provides:

  • Two ports of 25Gb/s, or a single port of 50Gb/s, Ethernet connectivity with PCIe Gen 3.0/4.0 x8 host connectivity
  • Security features including Hardware Root of Trust, Connection Tracking for stateful L4 firewalls, and in-line IPSec cryptography acceleration
  • GPUDirect RDMA acceleration for NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) storage, scale-out accelerated computing and high-speed video transfer applications
  • Zero Touch RoCE (ZTR) for scalable, easy-to-deploy, best-in-class RoCE without switch configuration
  • Accelerated switching and packet processing (ASAP2), with built-in SR-IOV and VirtIO hardware offloads for virtualization and containerization, to accelerate software-defined networking and connection tracking for next-generation firewall services

ConnectX-6 Lx is sampling now, with general availability expected in Q3 2020. Like all products in the ConnectX family, it is compatible with the Mellanox SmartNIC software stack. Together with Mellanox Spectrum switches and the LinkX family of cables and transceivers, ConnectX SmartNICs enable the most comprehensive end-to-end solution for high-performance networks.

Mellanox SmartNICs and software are used in cloud, hyperscale and enterprise data centers, high performance computing, cybersecurity and financial services systems around the world.

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