With the explosion of data in the information age there is a strong demand for better, faster, and more efficient ways to store, process, and serve data to the market. Servers and storage manufacturers are rapidly developing solutions for the data-hungry market. FPGAs and CPLDs are increasingly taking center stage in a variety of applications. Disk arrays, tape libraries, data security appliances, storage area network (SAN) switches, and high-performance computing servers are a few of the applications taking advantage of FPGA features (see Figure 1). Both the server and storage markets forecast strong steady growth, as shown in Table 1.
|Table 1. Computer and Storage Forecasted Growth|
|Segment||Market Value ($Billion)||CAGR (%) (1)|
|Blade Servers (2009 Forecast)||7||19|
|Rack Mount Servers||33||0.02|
|External Disk Storage (2009 Forecast)||18||11|
|Network Attached Storage||3||12|
|SAN Switch (2009 Forecast)||2||9|
CAGR = Compound annual growth rate
Figure 1. Computer and Storage Applications
JBOD = Just a bunch of disks
Key trends in the server and storage market include:
- Achieving high throughput and protection for data storage with RAID algorithms
- Securing/protecting data for servers and storage with encryption algorithms for data at rest (storage) and data in motion (servers)
- Increasing storage capacity without increasing cost of storage with data compression
- Monitoring and managing server farms remotely by controlling the keyboard and mouse of individual servers over an Ethernet link
- Accelerating server applications in hardware
FPGAs are advantageous in this market because you can program them with a new hardware configuration in just seconds. The FPGA capability lets you change the functionality of your product immediately—in the field, at the warehouse, or on the production line. Altera's SOPC Builder system generation tool automates intellectual property (IP) configuration and integration. Together with our partners, we offer more than 200 off-the-shelf IP cores that you can use to create a hardware system in just minutes using SOPC Builder.
With the Quartus® II design software, you can minimize power, optimize speed, and reduce system compile times in your FPGA design. Our configurable Nios® II embedded processor allows you to easily create a microprocessor-based system that is customized to match your application requirements.