Enfabrica and Macronix announcements for rapid IO and search

This article will review a recent interview with startup Enfabrica, which offers an integrated IO architecture in the company’s fabric server chips that enables early implementation of the memory and storage tier before CXL 3.0 is widely available and significant improvements in hub performance data and cost reductions. We are also introducing some improvements to the search capabilities with Macronix’s memory-centric FortiX flash computing.

Enfabrica is a startup trying to address the pain points of GPU networking and memory and storage scale (including providing memory pooling features like CXL gen 3 before they are widely implemented by 2026). The figure below shows important considerations for scaling memory and storage for data center applications.

They have developed an efficient server fabric chip with advanced capabilities in a terabit Ethernet network fabric that they say can address these memory and storage issues (as well as compute and communication issues) as shown below.

The Enfabrica team says this server fabric will eliminate the need for specialized NICs and traditional top of rack (TOR) communication hardware and provide a universal data movement that addresses IO limitations in modern computing, including GPUs.

The company says they can scale and scale all compute resources delivering 2x the return per dollar. They also say it provides 10x higher performance than NICs or DPUs and 4x higher performance per watt and with fewer chips and rack connections and that it can scale to 1,000 server nodes.

Macronix’s has provided some insight into its memory-centric FortiX flash computing memory that it presented at the 2022 Flash Memory Summit. The company says it provides a cost-effective replacement for DRAM for matrix and index lookups. As shown in the figure below, the company says there will be a 10x improvement in query speed.

They say there’s also a security advantage for confidential searches (such as for fingerprints or personal and corporate data). FortiX is said to minimize database exposure and enable encryption of search results.

Startup Enfabrica introduces its server texture to replace NICs and DPUs and provide memory segregation in the data center, higher performance and lower IO costs. Macronix demonstrated a 10x improvement in database lookups with the company’s memory-centric flash computing compared to DRAM.

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