Researchers have found a way to turn commodity RDMA Network Interface Cards into processors

Credit: NSLAB at KTH Royal Institute of Technology

With Moore’s law coming to an end, storage systems are turning to hardware accelerators such as FPGAs to offload computing-intensive tasks from the CPU. However, provisioning these accelerators comes with a hefty price tag.

Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and three other universities have found that there is an alternate way to offload computing without making such investments. As it turns out, commodity Network Interface Cards (NICs) that support RDMA—a feature that allows directly reading/writing server memory—are Turing complete. This means that they are powerful enough to …

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