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Nvidia’s 8 Biggest GTC 2020 Product Announcements You Might Have Missed

The chipmaker’s biggest product announcements at GTC 2020 include a new type of processor Nvidia believes will benefit every data center, new GPUs for professionals, software that brings new AI capabilities to videoconferencing and an expanded partnership with VMware.

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New Family Of BlueField DPUs Revealed

Nvidia revealed a new family of BlueField data processing units, or DPUs, that can offload networking, storage and security workloads from the CPU and enable new security and hypervisor capabilities.

The first product in the lineup, BlueField-2, is sampling with customers now and will be available in 2021 in servers from Asus, Atos, Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, Gigabyte, H3C, Inspur, Lenovo, Quanta and Supermicro. The second product, BlueField-2X, features an Nvidia Ampere GPU for AI-accelerated security, network and storage tasks and will also be available next year. On the software side, earlier supporters include VMware, Red Hat, Canonical and Check Point Software Technologies.

The PCIe-based products feature DOCA, a new “data-center-infrastructure-on-a-chip architecture,” and rely on a mix of Arm processor cores, ConnectX-6 SmartNIC technology from Nvidia’s Mellanox Technologies acquisition and, in the case of a few products, Nvidia’s data center GPU architecture.

With a single BlueField-2, the DPU can deliver the same level of performance for software-defined networking, software-defined security, software-defined storage and infrastructure management that 125 CPU cores can, meaning that CPU cores will have headroom to deliver additional performance for enterprise applications, according to Nvidia.

Beyond Nvidia’s plans to launch the BlueField-2 and BlueField-2X in 2021, the company revealed a DPU product road map that includes the BlueField-3 and BlueField-3X in 2022 as well as the BlueField-4, which will come out in 2023 and, for the first time in the product line, integrate the GPU and Arm cores in the silicon and provide 600 times better performance than the BlueField-2, according to the company.

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