Developer Tools & Open Source

Acceleration: Kalray Readies Second-Generation Bostan Processor

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  January 14, 2016

European processor company Kalray, which two years ago introduced the 256-core programmable processor called Andey, in the first quarter of this year will come out with Bostan – a second-generation solution that will take real-time processing performance to a whole new level. This new chip, and the acceleration boards and smart NICs that will be based on it, will deliver multiples of the processing capabilities of Andey and will include other new features aimed at addressing today’s network, security, and storage acceleration requirements.

One of the boards that will leverage Bostan will perform on-the-fly encryption. Jean-Pierre Demange, vice president of sales and marketing of Kalray, said that not only is this solution very fast in terms of performance, it also allows for expedited go-to-market. The Bostan-based boards were sampling late in 2015.

Kalray is also introducing a smart NIC (News - Alert) called Konic, which is programmable so users can support new functionality and protocols as those needs present themselves. That’s important given the pace of change in technology today and the wide array of protocols (such as the quickly evolving new solid-state drive storage protocol known as NVMe, as one example) that continue to make an appearance. It takes a lot of time and effort to change ASICs, Demange noted, so Konic does not employ an ASIC but rather is based on the Bostan processor. Konic has also been sampling and is slated for general availability this quarter. 

Seven-year-old Kalray provides its solutions to a variety of businesses and cloud solutions and data centers. Its competitors, some of which have ASIC solutions as opposed to processor-based ones like Kalray does, include Cavium, EZchip (which Mellanox Technologies recently announced its intention to buy), and Metronome.

Demange, who spoke with me at TMC (News - Alert) Editor’s Day in November, said Kalray is well positioned to accelerate the data center. The company, he said, doesn’t want to play in the server marketplace, but he added that the X.86 platforms that are prevalent in data centers are not deterministic. So Kalray offers high-speed I/O processors, which act as high-speed switches to connect data between Ethernet and PCI (News - Alert).

Edited by Maurice Nagle