AMD smartNICs Are About To Become A Thing

Source: The Register AMD smartNICs Are About To Become A Thing

It Will Be A Melange Of FPGAs, ASICs, And General Compute Cores

During the Hot Chips conference this week we saw information on the upcoming AMD SmartNICs for the very first time.  They have chosen an interesting architecture for their SmartNICs, not developing them using a mix of fixed-function ASICs programmable ARM CPUs as many others have.  Instead they have mixed all three of the usual solutions into a single device.  In theory this should give you the speed of ASICs for dedicated tasks, the flexibility of FPGAs and ARM CPUs to handle the heavy lifting.  With their purchase of Xilinx, all but the ARM cores belong to AMD.

AMD’s SmartNICs will contain 16 A78-AE cores for high-performance workloads and four R52 cores for low-power operations. The SmartNICs will have  four 32GB DIMMs, either LPDDR5 or DDR5 depending on your needs. The card will provide 200Gbps interfaces and 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0 or CXL 2.0 connectivity.

These won’t be great for your gaming rig, but if you deal with virtualization, like Open vSwitch and Virtio for instance, these cards may well make your life a lot easier.  There is no word on when they will be available, but we will keep tabs on them to see if they work out as well as AMD hopes.

Over the past two years, AMD has steadily expanded its computing portfolio. This included the addition of FPGAs and smartNICs through the acquisition of Xilinx in 2020 and Pensando earlier this year.

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Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.


  1. willmore

    I’d really like to see them making 10GbT standard in their chipsets/processors. We’ve been stuck at 1Gb for way too long. It’s like the 1080p of networking.

  2. Mario

    1GB is more like the DVD Of networking. I remember affordably upgrading my computers to 1GB in like 2004 or something.

  3. razor512

    I wish they would make more of an effort to bring affordable 100-200Gbps networking for home use. Having a modern standard available for home use will bring about tangible changes to home networking in the consumer marker rather than the the current trend of floppy disk drive levels of obsolete (1GbE), and zip drive levels of obsolete (2.5GbE). 10 GbE is a little more useful but is plagued a level of price gouging that would make a GPU scalper blush. Thus it is hard to get switches and NICs.


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