Samsung has teamed up with Xilinx to create a product called the Samsung SmartSSD CSD. This, it is explained, is a combination of Samsung SSD technology and Xilinx FPGA technology with a fast private data path between them. The appeal is that efficient parallel computation can take place at the data storage point, freeing up any host CPU(s) to handle higher level tasks more efficiently.
A lot of organisations are seeing big data as a worthwhile frontier to push into. As Samsung says, "the growth of machine- and user-generated content provides tremendous opportunity for business insights". However, big data puts a particular set of strenuous demands on storage, retrieval, processing and analysis that is outside of traditional computing's comfort zone. Most typically big data processing will be slowed by bottlenecks between storage and CPU.
The SmartSSD Drive takes the latest tech from Samsung (Samsung Enterprise SSD controller SoC, Samsung V-NAND) and Xilinx (Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale+ KU15P FPGA) and combines them into a Computational Storage Drive (CSD). This CSD has been created in the 2.5-inch (U.2) form factor, provides 3.84TB of storage, and fits onto a single-port PCIe Gen 3 x4 slot card. The Xilinx FPGA includes 4GB of DDR4 to facilitate processing on SSD.
Developers can tap into the CSD's capabilities via the Xilinx Vitis environment and using C, C++, or OpenCL. On the SmartSSD product page, Samsung says that runtimes, libraries, APIs, and drivers can be built into the system using common application frameworks. Already Samsung has some clear use cases of SmartSSDs being used in industries as diverse as air traffic control, business and marketing intelligence, and financial portfolio intelligence.
Samsung it taking enquiries about the SmartSSD range now, and these CSD products are expected to ship next year.