back to article Microsoft adds FPGA-powered network accelerator to Azure

Microsoft has announced a mysterious cloud hardware upgrade called "Azure Boost" that it claims will improve the performance of all future instance types in its big blue cloud. "Azure Boost is a system designed by Microsoft that offloads server virtualization processes traditionally performed by the hypervisor and host OS onto …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Why FPGA

    I'm not sure why folks hype the use of FPGA as a sign of performance. Except in the rarest of cases, field programmable devices merely serve as a way of producing custom devices without the overhead of full foundry silicon production. That's primarily a matter of production cost versus volume demand, but devices implemented on FPGA are often slower than what could be achieved by well designed dedicated foundry silicon, because the FPGA inevitably has a generic architecture that may not be optimal for any given function. However using FPGA does ensure that no third party has knowledge of your device function or internals, so it can be useful for protecting IP.

    1. bluezy

      Re: Why FPGA

      My company uses FPGAs to prototype the actual silicon that will be shipped to customers, due to the high cost of producing even a small batch of chips.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why FPGA

      Custom hardware made for the task is going to be faster or more efficient or why bother?

      Wow @ 12.5GB/sec and 650K IOPS for a single VM. Under the Windows Server stack probably but wont be too far off on Linux.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why FPGA

      Such a reducing view. What about functions that need both field-upgradability and hardware performance? All codecs in your TV use an FPGA.

  2. Cloudy Day

    AWS have had Nitro for many years

    Is this just Microsoft trying to catch up? Are they really THAT far behind?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AWS have had Nitro for many years

      Amazon 12.5GB/sec and 400K IOPS

      Azure: 12.5GB/sec and 650K IOPS

      The Internet Clowns: Is this just Microsoft trying to catch up?

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