A startup called Pliops has come out of stealth mode with a new way to process data. Rather than loading data into main memory as is traditionally done, Pliops technology offloads the data and application to a PCI Express card, and the data is processed where it is stored, freeing up the CPU to other tasks.
This is called computer storage. The concept has been around for a while, but like so many tech ideas, it was ahead of its time. The technology needed to catch up concept. This could never be done with mechanical hard drives, and SSDs had to make gains as well. Recently, Samsung and Xilinx teamed up to provide a compute-to-storage SSD device that uses a Xilinx FPGA to offload the processing work.
Pliops has been around since 2017. It finally launched its flagship product, the Pliops XDP, which stands for eXtreme Data Processor.
“Just as GPUs overcome processing inefficiencies to accelerate AI and analytics performance, the revolutionary Pliops Extreme Data Processor (XDP) overcomes storage inefficiencies to massively accelerate performance and dramatically reduce operating costs. ‘infrastructure for today’s applications,’ reads the Pliops website.
While the Samsung/Xilinx product is an SSD with compute and DRAM for processing in place, the Pliops card is essentially a modern RAID controller for all-flash storage. XDP is a purpose-built discrete accelerator that sits between NVMe SSDs and data-demanding applications.
The card actually takes the applications running on the system and moves them directly to storage, where the processing is done. This reduces or eliminates the load on the CPU. Pliops claims up to 80% less stress on the CPU, freeing up performance for other tasks.
The company’s website states, “XDP’s ultra-fast hardware storage engine leverages breakthrough data structures and algorithms to deliver the performance equivalent of hundreds of Intel Xeon Gold cores of common data processing functions and storage management. This eliminates bottlenecks, reduces latency, and dramatically increases workload scaling of your existing infrastructure footprint. »
According to Pliops, the XDP card can provide 10x overall performance gains for databases, analytics, and AI/ML work. Because it requires fewer servers to do more application work, Pliops estimates that XDP can provide up to 5x savings on data center infrastructure, which means less hardware is needed. to perform the same task as without the XDP.
Big claims, aren’t they? We have heard them before. But consider this: Intel and Nvidia originated $65 million in funding for the company last February. If these two support Pliops, there must be something.