Open Compute Project Foundation announces new hardware-software co-design strategy

AUSTIN, Texas, April 14, 2022 — Today, the OCP Foundation, the nonprofit organization that brings large-scale innovation to everyone, announced a new hardware-software co-design strategy that is exemplified by the recent contributions to OCP by Microsoft and Intel’s Scalable SIOV (I/O (Input/Output) Virtualization) specification and a new collaboration with the SONiC project now at the Linux Foundation.

“Hardware-software co-design focuses on software that requires intimate knowledge of hardware to optimize hardware performance and accelerate hardware time-to-market where system performance and environmental footprint may be highly dependent on software interactions. As part of OCP’s new hardware-software co-design strategy, we are excited to have new contributions from Microsoft and Intel and to continue our collaboration with the Linux Foundation’s SONiC project. “, said Georges ChaparianCEO of the Open Compute Project Foundation.

Hardware-software co-design takes on new importance as software workloads become more diverse and require specialized silicon to deliver optimal performance at an acceptable energy and environmental cost. System software, or firmware, will need to be designed using knowledge of the underlying hardware architecture to make appropriate engineering trade-offs along the cost/performance curve allowing for greener software.

Microsoft and Intel’s recent contribution of the Scalable I/O Virtualization specification is an important example of OCP’s hardware-software co-design strategy where SIOV provides hardware and software architecture for large-scale I/O virtualization. . This specification is an evolution of SR-IOV (Single Root Input/Output Virtualization) removing scaling limitations, allowing hundreds and thousands of virtual machines (VMs) or software containers to share dynamically a pool of I/O devices that meets today’s requirements. modern cloud native software. OCP intends to grow a healthy community around SIOV by becoming a catalyst to drive innovation in silicon and cloud architectures.

OCP’s new hardware-software co-design strategy is exemplified by recent contributions from Microsoft and Intel to the Scalable I/O specification, and a new collaboration with the SONiC project, now at the Linux Foundation.

The collaboration between OCP and the Linux Foundation extends to include the SONiC project. In line with hardware-software co-design, collaboration continues around the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) project which remains at OCP and SONiC now at the Linux Foundation. OCP is delighted that this collaboration allows OCP to benefit from greater acceptance of SONiC by the Linux Foundation software development community, creating attraction for OCP-recognized switching hardware, opening new vertical markets for equipment recognized by the OCP. While SONiC is the OS of choice for many large-scale data center operators, other market segments require specialized functionality and SAI will enable the market to choose the best switch OS. adapted to its use cases.

“The data center infrastructure market continues to evolve with increased silicon diversity driven by the adoption of AI and ML workloads. This diversity is reshaping the market which is under pressure to provide high performance computing infrastructure that also manages its power and environmental footprint. These combinations of requirements make hardware-software co-design a must. mentioned Ashish NadkarniGroup Vice President, Infrastructure Systems, Global Infrastructure at IDC.

Support from key stakeholders

Intel (SIOV)
“Intel is committed to using open standards as the fuel that fuels inclusive and innovative ecosystems,” said Ronak Singhal, Senior Fellow and Chief Architect for Intel Xeon Roadmap & Technology at Intel. “By partnering with the Open Compute Project to host the new SIOV (Scalable I/O Virtualization) specification, the entire ecosystem of processors and PCIe devices can accelerate the adoption of I/O virtualization more scalable, efficient and high performance for the hyperscale era”.

Microsoft (SONiC)
“The open-source SONiC network operating system enables rapid innovation in the network ecosystem, and it started with the definition of the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) at OCP. OCP and SONiC have contributed immensely to each other’s growth over the past few years. SONiC now joins the Linux Foundation to expand the communities and industries it serves. The OCP & LF SONiC Foundation will continue to work closely on hardware and SAI specifications as part of OCP’s hardware-software co-design strategy,” said David MaltzSONiC Foundation Board Member and Technical/CVP Member, Microsoft.

Linux Foundation
“The Linux Foundation is pleased to welcome SONiC, a leader in open source NOS data center deployments, to our growing community of open networking projects and developer communities,” said Arpit Joshipura, Managing Director, Networking, Edge and IoT, The Linux Foundation. “As we focus on the software component of SONiC, we look forward to partnering with the Open Compute Foundation (OCP) to align hardware and specifications such as SAI.”

About the Open Compute Project Foundation

At the heart of the Open Computing Project (OCP) is its community of hyperscale data center operators, joined by telecom and colocation providers and enterprise computing users, working with vendors to develop open innovations that , when integrated into the product, are deployed from the cloud to the edge. The OCP Foundation is responsible for fostering and serving the OCP community to meet the market and shape the future, bringing large-scale innovations within everyone’s reach. Responding to the market is accomplished through open designs and best practices, and with data center facilities and IT equipment incorporating innovations developed by the OCP community for efficiency, large-scale operations, and sustainability. Shaping the future involves investing in strategic initiatives that prepare the computing ecosystem for major changes, such as AI and ML, optics, advanced cooling techniques, and composable silicon. Learn more about www.opencompute.org.


Source: Open Computing Project Foundation

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