IBM and Xilinx, Inc. have announced a multi-year strategic collaboration to enable higher performance and energy-efficient data center applications through Xilinx FPGA-enabled workload acceleration on IBM POWER-based systems. IBM and Xilinx, through a private signed agreement and collaboration through the OpenPOWER Foundation, are teaming to develop open acceleration infrastructures, software and middleware to address emerging applications such as machine learning, network functions virtualization (NFV), genomics, high performance computing (HPC) and big data analytics.

As these heterogeneous workloads have become increasingly prevalent, data centers are turning to application accelerators to keep up with the demands for throughput and latency at low power. Xilinx All Programmable FPGAs deliver the power efficiency that makes accelerators practical to deploy throughout the data center. IBM's open and licensable POWER architecture together with Xilinx FPGAs provide compelling performance, performance/watt and lower total cost of ownership for the next generation data centers workloads.

As part of the IBM and Xilinx strategic collaboration, IBM Systems Group developers will create solution stacks for POWER-based servers, storage and middleware systems with Xilinx FPGA accelerators for data center architectures such as OpenStack, Docker, and Spark. IBM will also develop and qualify Xilinx accelerator boards into IBM Power Systems servers. Xilinx is developing and will release POWER-based versions of its leading software defined SDAccel™ Development Environment and libraries for the OpenPOWER developer community.

Additionally, IBM and Xilinx will continue to further utilize IBM's innovative Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) to deliver accelerated computing value to its clients. CAPI, a unique feature built into the POWER architecture, provides Xilinx and the technology industry at large with the ability to build tightly integrated, coherent solutions right on top of the POWER architecture. For example, independent software vendors are already leveraging IBM Flash Storage attached to CAPI to create very large memory spaces for in memory processing of analytics, enabling the same query workloads to run with 1/24 the number of servers compared to commodity x86 solutions. These breakthroughs enable POWER8-based systems to continue where the promise of Moore's Law falls short, by delivering performance gains through OpenPOWER ecosystem-driven, full stack innovation.

"The combination of IBM and Xilinx provides our clients not only with a new level of accelerated computing made possible by the tight integration between IBM POWER processors and Xilinx FPGAs, but also gives them the ability to benefit directly from the constant stream of innovation being delivered by the rapidly expanding OpenPOWER ecosystem," said Ken King, general manager, OpenPOWER, IBM.

"Xilinx is collaborating with IBM, data center customers and the industry ecosystem to enable world class solutions for the next generation of cloud computing and NFV applications," said Hemant Dhulla, Vice President of Wired Communications and Data Center Business, Xilinx. "IBM's vast resources and expertise in data center and cloud software will contribute greatly to the FPGA-based accelerator movement currently underway."

Recognizing an open approach to data center infrastructure is core to enabling workload acceleration across the industry, Xilinx has deepened its investment in the OpenPOWER Foundation – an independent organization with more than 160 members worldwide supporting open development on the POWER architecture. Already an active participant on the OpenPOWER Foundation's Accelerator Work Group, Xilinx today announced it has raised its membership to Platinum level and has been approved for a Board Director position.