Kalray launches NVMe storage access acceleration SmartNIC

French supplier Kalray has launched a K200-LP acceleration card for accessing NVMe storage.

The card uses fabless semi-conductor company Kalray’s in-house-developed VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) Massively Parallel Processing Array (MPPA) processor, with 80 cores. A PCIe Gen 4 link is used to connect the card to a host server CPU. The card has dual 100Gbit/s Ethernet ports for the NVMe links to SSDs.

Kalray K200-LP.
K200-LP features.

Eric Baissus, President and CEO of Kalray, provided a prepared quote: “This [MPPA] family of Ethernet/PCIe acceleration cards are natively capable of managing multiple workloads with no bottleneck to enable smarter, more efficient, and energy‐wise applications on Cloud and Edge data centres. To address the new generation of storage array solutions for Cloud and Edge, K200‐LP is a game changer solution in terms of performance per Watt and per dollar.”

Kalray says the K200-LP card runs all the critical functions of a disaggregated storage appliance, including NVMe and NVMe‐over‐Fabric protocols using NVMe SSDs. The card can deliver two million IOPS, with 12GB/sec bandwidth for both RoCE and NVMe/TCP. The actual latency added by the card is between 30μs for RoCE and 50μs for NVMe/TCP.

The firm claims it has an outstanding performance-per-Watt rating, without providing actual numbers. Software functions such as encryption, erasure coding, deduplication or other low-level storage tasks can be developed for the card using Kalray’s AccessCore Storage software suite.  

The K200-LP is an example of SmartNIC technology and Kalray will be competing with AMD-Xilinx, Nvidia with BlueField and VMware’s Project Monterey with ESX running on the BlueField NIC, also Marvell, Intel, and others.

Kalray’s K200‐L smart storage card and associated tools are available now, the card being manufactured by Taiwanese EMS Wistron. Read a technical brief on MPPA here (registration and documentation choice required).