Samsung and AMD Xilinx launch second-generation SmartSSD

Samsung and AMD Xilinx launch second-generation SmartSSD

Samsung 2nd Gen AMD Xilinx SmartSSD Case
Samsung 2nd Gen AMD Xilinx SmartSSD Case

Samsung and AMD Xilinx have a new SSD. 2nd Gen SmartSSD is the upgraded data storage device designed for those who want to shift storage paradigms. We previously looked at the first generation device, the Xilinx-Samsung SmartSSD Computational Storage Drive in 2020. Now we have a significantly upgraded device.

Samsung and AMD Xilinx launch second-generation SmartSSD

The new Samsung and AMD-Xilinx SmartSSD has a new processing engine. This generation jumps from the older Kintex FPGAs to the new Xilinx Versal ACAP as its processing core. It gives more performance, arm cores and the ability to get new acceleration and I/O in the drive. The companies say the newer generation is significantly faster.

Samsung 2nd Gen AMD Xilinx SmartSSD Angle
Samsung 2nd Gen AMD Xilinx SmartSSD Angle

The new device uses EDSFF to provide a more modern form factor. You can learn more about EDSFF form factors in E1 and E3 EDSFF to Take Over from M.2 and 2.5 in SSDs.

From our previous article we can see the basis of a SmartSSD from Samsung and Xilinx (now AMD.) Here we have NAND from Samsung together with Xilinx Kintex FPGA.

Samsung Xilinx SmartSSD internal components
Samsung Xilinx SmartSSD internal components

The companies have been working on the software side after the introduction of the hardware platform. An example is handling the encryption on the device using the FPGA so that it does not have to be done on the CPU and using main memory.

Xilinx SmartSSD IP Xilinx Storage Services
Xilinx SmartSSD IP Xilinx Storage Services

The other advantage is that data processing can take place locally. For example, here is NPUSearch where the search algorithm is farmed out to the SSDs and the FPGAs within them, giving better performance with first generation SmartSSDs.

Xilinx SmartSSD Lewis Rhodes Labs search
Xilinx SmartSSD Lewis Rhodes Labs search

A big part of this is that data doesn’t have to move off the storage device to be processed. Data movement in modern servers is expensive in terms of power and latency/performance, so there are classes of applications that can be greatly accelerated by using less powerful processors alongside the storage rather than bringing everything back to the main CPU.

Last word

If you want to learn more about how SmartSSDs are used, that 2020 article has a lot more. It seems that since the first generation was launched, Samsung and AMD Xilinx have seen enough traction that they continued to develop and announce the second generation product. Hopefully one day we will get to show you how these work in more detail.

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